Tuesday, August 15, 2006
We love Thai food! The combinations of the fresh ingredients and herbs with the spiciness of the curries is so soothing to the soul.
On the weekends I enjoy taking time and preparing a good hearty meal. And very often I let my imagination take control and start playing with ingredients. I know it had been sometime since I last made a nice Thai curry and I was craving it. I had bought some fresh chicken and vegetables and checked out what else my pantry would give (I have to really start getting through the stuff in there ... I can feed a small country with the contents!). Well I found a few things that I could use.
I went to the CD player and switched on some music - "Dhoom Machale" started and as Soeren shook his head and cracked up at the sight of his mother dancing through the living room, my brain was already working overtime!
It must be some kind of a pattern that I leave behind and that my neighbors have memorized, because a few minutes later S. came around the backyard and peeked through the patio doors.
"Are you cooking something Indian?" she asked inquisitively.
"Close!" I said "Thai!"
OK not close really but for her everything from that part of the world is far off and close! LOL!
When she saw the unusual variety of ingredients I had set up on the kitchen counter she looked a little alarmed.
"Gosh! I wish I would be as daring as you in my cooking!"
"Just go with the flow, S!" I said winking and then invited her and A. to join us. Which was probably what was being fished for initially anyway.
(Just to set the record straight - I really like both of them and we have a very open friendship with each other. There are no reservations on either part to just go and "invite ourselves".)
I took another look at the stuff on the counter. Nothing unusual there!
What do you think? Is this an unusual recipe?
4 Chicken legs - drumsticks and thigh separated
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika powder
2 tablespoons oil
3 onions - cut in half and then sliced
2 garlic cloves - mashed
100 ml apple juice
200 ml unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
400 g carrots - cut in quarters and then in sticks. I used lovely organic carrots from our local farmer.
200 g mushrooms - cut in halves
1 large bunch of coriander leaves - coarsely chopped
Sprinkle the chicken pieces with the salt, cayenne pepper and paprika powder. In a large roaster heat up the oil and then fry the chicken on both sides until golden brown - approx. 8 minutes.
Add the onion slices and the garlic. Pour in the apple juice, 100 ml water, coconut milk and the peanut butter. Mix this well to make a smooth sauce. Cover the roaster and allow to simmer for approx. 15 minutes.
Now add the carrot sticks and simmer for a further 8-10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and again simmer for a further 5 minutes.
Add salt and a bit of cayenne pepper to taste and then sprinkle the coriander leaves.
Serve with lime wedges and rice.
Wow! Ever heard of so many different flavors harmonizing so well together? My neighbors were pleasantly surprised and almost literally licked their plates clean. Even Soeren enjoyed the lovely combination of coconut milk and peanut butter. I was worried that it might have been too exotic for him but, my mother in this case would say, "he is half Indian after all!" (that would be said in Hindi - OK I'll give it a go to get my Indian buddies here laughing "Aarey aadha hindustani jo hain!" - was that good?)
Honestly, you will really find the flavors of these ingredients bursting into your mouth. The combination works well and the vegetables round the entire dish up very well. I would recommend a simple rice dish with this as anything else will take away from the aroma and fragrance of the main dish. And we do not want to do this, do we?
With such a colorful dish I'd also like to wish all my fellow Indians a Happy independence Day today!
Such a lovely dish just needs to be sent out to Cate for her ARF-5-A Day Tuesday
Just a little story on the side: In Weimar I do not always get coriander leaves when ever I need them. So this year I decided to plant my own. I am not always very lucky with herbs but this year seems to be a very good year and I am really reaping the bounties. I was very excited as my coriander grew into a really wonderful looking little plant. However, after I cut off most of it for this dish, it seems to have decided not to grow anymore - or more slowly than expected. So, what did I do wrong? Did I cut in wrong? Still as it was home grown I thought maybe Barbara would still accept it for her Spice is right theme this month - Fresh and Local.
thai, asian cuisine, chicken, garlic, coconut, peanut butter, food, recipe, carrot, herb, coriander, mushroom