Description: This is a typcially hot Thai curry, but if you don't like the heat, remoce the seeds and white ribs from inside the chillies before making the paste.
Servings: serves 4
Ingredients for Thai Red Squash, Spinach and Coconut Curry
750g squash, such as crown prince or kabocha
3 tbsp sunflower oil
400ml tin coconut milk
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tbsp palm sugar or soft light brown sugar
2 tbsp lime juice
4 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
150g sugar snap peas
200g tin bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed
50g baby leaf spinach
For the red curry paste:
15g fresh basil leaves (Thai holy basil, if possible, available at most Thai shots)
5 medium-hot chillies, roughly chopped
4 lemongrass stalks, outer leaves removed and core roughly chopped
50g fresh ginger, roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 large shallot, roughly chopped
1 tsp fresh ground coriander seeds
1 tsp fresh ground cumin seeds
¼ tsp Thai shrimp paste
2 tsp paprika powder
½ ground turmeric
2 tbsp sunflower oil
Directions for Thai Red Squash, Spinach and Coconut Curry
1. For the re curry paste, put all the ingredients into a mini food processor with 1 tbsp water and blend to a smooth paste.
2. Peel the squash, scoop out the seeds and cut into 2cm thick, neat slices. Heat the oil in a large suacepan over a medium heat. Add the curry paste and fry gently for 2 minutes, stirring now and then, until it starts to smell aromatic and the oil starts to separate from the paste. Add the coconut milk, stock, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and kaffir lime leaves, if using, and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
3. Stir in the squash and ½ tsp salt, cover and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Carefully stir in the sugar snap peas, taking care not to break up the squash pieces, and simmer for another 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the bamboo shoots and spinach leaves, then simmer for 1 minute. Add the basil leaves and adjust the fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and seasoning if necessary. It should taste chilli-hot, salty, sour and sweet. Serve with steamed basmati rice.
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