Thai Yellow Cauliflower, Snake Bean and Tofu Curry. It’s been said before but it’s a drum worth beating: home-made curry paste tastes way better than anything you’ll ever buy. You just can’t get those same snappy flavours unless you grind the ingredients fresh, and it’s really easy too.
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
400 g (14 oz/about ½ small) cauliflower, trimmed and cut into medium–large florets
375 ml (13 fl oz/1½ cups) chicken stock
200 g (7 oz) snake (yard-long) beans, trimmed and cut into 3 cm (1¼ inch) pieces
140 g (5 oz/1 cup) frozen or fresh podded peas
400 g (14 oz) fried tofu puffs, sliced
1 x 400 ml (14 fl oz) tin coconut cream
Steamed jasmine rice, to serve
70 g (2½ oz/½ cup) unsalted roasted peanuts
Large handful of Thai basil leaves
2 kaffir lime leaves, stems removed, finely shredded
Lime wedges, to serve
Yellow Curry Paste
1½ tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
2 lemongrass stems, white part only, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1½ teaspoons ground turmeric
3 Asian shallots, chopped
5 large kaffir lime leaves, stems removed, chopped
4 small red chillies, chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
For the yellow curry paste, mix all the ingredients in a small food processor to a smooth paste. Alternatively, pound everything, except the fish sauce and oil, with a mortar and pestle. then stir in the fish sauce and oil.
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until softened. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add the cauliflower, stir to coat, then add the stock; the cauliflower won’t quite be covered. Place the beans and peas on top and add the tofu, but do not stir. Bring the stock to a simmer, cover the pan tightly, then cook over medium heat for 12–15 minutes until the vegetables are just tender; they should still have a little bite.
Add the coconut cream, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook for 3 minutes or until heated through, then divide into bowls with steamed rice. Scatter with peanuts, basil and the shredded lime leaves. Serve with lime wedges.
Tip: This recipe will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for 5–6 weeks.
Images and recipes from Cauliflower is King by Leanne Kitchen, Murdoch Books, RRP $19.99 Photography by Leanne Kitchen, Illustrations by Alissa Dinallo and Kitty Clement’.