This is one of the first recipes I made when moving out of home. At the time, I didn’t want to spend my precious money on meat so this was a winner. Whether you bother with making your own curry paste or not, it is fresh, cheap and healthy meal for you to put on your table.
+ 600 g pumpkin, chopped into 3 cm cubes
+ 2 tablespoons of oil
+ 1 tablespoon red curry paste (see below)
+ 400 ml coconut cream
+ 200 g green beans, cut into 3 cm lengths
+ 2 kaffir lime leaves, crushed
+ 1 tablespoon grated palm sugar, or brown sugar
+ 1 tablespoon fish sauce
+ 30 g (around 1 cup) Thai basil leaves
+ 1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
Red Curry Paste
+ 6-10 dried long red chillies
+ large pinch of salt
+ 1 tablespoon chopped galangal
+ 2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass
+ 1 teaspoon finely grated kaffir lime zest
+ 1 teaspoon cleaned and chopped coriander roots
+ 2 tablespoons chopped red shallots
+ 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
+ 1 teaspoon Thai shrimp paste (gapi)
If making your own curry paste:
Trim the stalks off the chillies, before cutting along their length and removing the seeds. Soak the chillies in water for about 15 minutes until soft. Drain the chillies, squeezing to extract as much water as possible, before roughly chopping. If using a pestle and mortar, pound the chillies with the salt, then add the remaining ingredients in their listed order, reducing the puree to a fine paste before adding the next ingredient. Alternatively, puree all the ingredients together in an electric blender. You may need to add a little water to assist in the process, but be careful to not dilute the paste too much. Halfway through, turn the machine off and scrape down the sides with a spatula.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC fan-forced. Place the pumpkin on a roasting tray, coated in one tablespoon of oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender.
Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan, add the curry paste and cook, stirring constantly, over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the coconut cream, stirring well. Add the pumpkin and any roasting juices, the beans and lime leaves. Reduce the heat to low, and cook for another five minutes.
Stir in the palm sugar, fish sauce, basil and lime juice. Garnish with extra basil leaves. Serve with rice.