The index proved its worth today. I was eating my sandwich at lunch today, idly pondering what to have for dinner. I needed to use up some coconut milk, bamboo shoots and jasmine rice. A Thai curry seemed like the obvious choice, but what had I done in the past? Inspiration struck, and I searched through the SevenSoy index to find the random Panang curry entry. Before long, I was armed with a plan and ideas with which to tweak the dish. “THIS is why I wanted an index!” I thought, and, “This is SO cool!”
I mixed half a can of coconut milk with a cup of water, then heated it in the skillet. When it was hot enough, I added two heaping tablespoons of Maesri Panang curry paste, then a tablespoon of tamarind paste (inspired by an eGullet conversation on Thai cooking by mamster and Pim of chez pim). It tasted interesting but it was too soupy. I added the bamboo shoots and some shredded carrots and cooked them for a while, then added grated palm sugar to taste and two tablespoons of fish sauce. The sauce was starting to reduce by now. I added the rice (which completely soaked up the sauce), garnished it with sliced almonds, covered the skillet and simmered for five minutes. After the simmering, I added more garnishes: orange mint leaves and Maesri crunchy chili bits (nam prik klang dong). A few squirts of lime juice and it was done.
I was very pleased with the curry. It was hot, sweet and tart, all at once. The tamarind flavor was lost in the final dish, but the mint leaves added a surprisingly strong punch. I’m not sure the almonds added anything useful to the curry. In any case, it worked out very well and yes, I have leftovers.