Okay guys, I almost didn’t make it today. It’s fall break, I know, but I spent from 9:30 to 12:00 this morning carving, baking, and pureeing a pumpkin. Then I baked four different things (yes, four). I also have what is turning into a very tiring cold, so grant me a little bit of leniency on this post – I’m half-asleep right now. Also – I must have had some sort of great photographic yuck day when I made this dish, because I ended up with two usable pictures. I had to steal the third picture from my set on Indian Ratatouille, which conveniently used at least some of the same vegetables as this recipe…
Which is delicious, by the way. When my roommate came to Colorado to visit me last spring, we went to a favorite family restaurant (she and I cooked for my family, and they cooked for us, but we also splurged a little bit). This restaurant has excellent Thai/Vietnamese food, and this is a standout favorite to me. While I’m too chicken to ask for a recipe from a restaurant, I have no problem attempting to re-create it (oh, and writing the recipe down on my reading for African Political Thought, hah). I’m not sure we’ve really done it justice (the roommate was also involved in designing this recipe, so she gets credit too), but it’s still fantastic, and we enjoy it a lot. Or we would, except that she’s studying abroad half way around the world right now, and so I’m pining (not really. I have three excellent housemates whom I love dearly).
I don’t have any warnings on this dish – it’s easy to make, easy to reheat, and unless you’re allergic to peanuts, impossible to resist. It works wonderfully as a thick sauce (if you skimp on ingredients) or could work fantastically as a thick stew (as the restaurant serves it). We’ve never gotten it quite into the stew category, but I imagine that if you doubled the recipe, you could easily make that work. We like to serve it with rice and skip the tofu (that the restaurant uses), but that’s mostly because I’m trying to stay away from tofu unless I’m eating out. You could add more vegetables if you desired, to make it more of a true stir-fry – but this is plenty filling even with just two varieties of veggies, so you’ll be satisfied walking away from this meal regardless.
Thai Peanut Curry
1 cup freshly ground peanut butter (I suppose you could use conventional peanut butter, but I think it would be a very oily dish prepared that way)
3/4 cup vegetable broth
3/4 cup low-fat coconut milk
1 tbsp brown sugar
1-2 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 to 2 cups broccoli
1/2 to 1 cup carrots, chopped
Pour the vegetable oil into large saucepan over medium heat and warm. Add the carrots and the broccoli and stir until tender. Add water in small quantities as needed to prevent burning and sticking. Add 1/2 tbsp of curry to vegetables and toss to coat
In a bowl, combine peanut butter, vegetable stock, coconut milk and brown sugar. Mix well to combine, heating as needed to melt the peanut butter. Add 1/2 tbsp (or more, to taste) of curry and mix well. Add a pinch (to taste) of cayenne.
When the vegetables are starting to be tender, add the peanut butter mixture to the vegetables and stir well to combine. Taste and modify spices as needed. Add cashews and serve over rice.