Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thai red curry noodle soup..

What to cook? is a more difficult question for me than who landed  a rover on Mars, specially for weekday dinner. Someday you do not feel like picking up the knife, pots and pans and to cook. Eating out may be a solution, but I avoid that on weekdays as much as possible and try my best to prepare something fresh and healthy for my kid.

To do this, I usually plan ahead. During weekend, I plan for the weekdays meal, and it really helps. I buy things accordingly on  the weekend and stick to my plan. Yes, at times I  do slip,  may be due to health issues or just lack of energy. But mostly I  try to follow my laid out plan.

When it comes to quick meals on weekdays I prefer one pot meals. That can be cooked on a single pan. Reducing the hassle of cleaning as well as a more elaborate cooking process. This is the reason why I often cook dishes like pulao, biryani, baked pasta, noodles loaded with veggies, baked meat etc.

Today it was a spicy noodle soup with some juicy prawns. As everyone in my family prefers spicy food,  I  love making Thai food at home. Thai curries are loaded with so many flavors and it suits our Indian palate very well. Thai curry pastes (red, green or yellow) are available in the market, but I prefer to make it from scratch.

I do not measure the ingredients while making the curry paste, just follow my instinct and my taste buds. I have tried my best to give measurements, the best way is to taste the curry paste while making it, add chilies if you like it hot, add fish sauce if you need to increase the salt or add more sugar to balance the sweetness. This soup can be made with chicken or with only vegetables of your choice.

Things needed to make thai red curry noodle soup:

(Serves 3-4)

For the noodles:
  • Noodles
  • Water, enough to cook the noodles
  • Salt: 2 tsp
  • Oil: 2-3 tsp

Red curry paste:
  • Red bell pepper (chopped): 3-4 tbsp
  • Bird's eye chili: 2-3 
  • Galangal or ginger (chopped): 1 tsp
  • Lemongrass (inner part): 1 inch
  • Coriander seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • White peppercorn: 1/2 tsp
  • Kaffir lime leaves: 2
  • Fish sauce: 1-2 tsp 
  • Palm sugar or brown sugar: 1-2 tsp
For the soup:
  • Prawns: 8
  • Babycorn (cut lengthwise): 1/2 cup
  • Tofu (cut into flat strips): 1/4 cup
  • Red bell pepper (cut into thin strips): 1/4 cup
  • Thai basil to serve
  • Coriander to serve
  • Coconut milk; 
  • Oil

Steps of making thai red curry noodle soup:

1. In a grinder take all the ingredients for red curry paste and make a smooth paste. Taste and adjust the salt and sweetness by adding fish sauce and palm sugar respectively. White sugar can also be used. Keep the red curry paste aside.

2. In a large pan (like a pasta pan), boil water with salt. Cook the noodles according to the package instruction. Drain the noodles, toss some oil in the noodle and keep aside.

3. In a pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil, Stir fry the baby corn, bell pepper or any other vegetables of your choice for 2 min. Take out and keep aside. In the same pan add little more oil and cook the tofu over high heat for 1 min each side. Take out and keep aside. In the same pan cook the prawns over high heat for 2 min each side, take out and keep aside.

4. Add 2 teaspoons of oil in the same pan, add the red curry paste, cook for 2-3 min. Add coconut milk, let it boil over medium heat. Add prawns, thai basils, kafiir lime leaves. Cook for 3 min. Transfer into a serving bowl.

Note: If you want to add chicken to the dish, add boneless chicken (cut into thin strips) when the coconut milk starts to boil, cover and cook over low medium heat for 5-6 min.

5. To serve: In a soup bowl add cooked noodles, stir fried vegetables, prawns and pour some soup. Garnish with fresh coriander and thai basil.

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