The “trick” I learned from my friend is the cooking of the curry paste in oil for a while. This is the magic of Thai curry paste, which having made Indian food a few times, what with the cooking of spices in oil, I get.
Prep the Curry Paste
In a sturdy pot (I use a cast iron wok) heat up 1/2 cup of oil and add a 14 oz tub of red curry paste (I like Arroy-D, which is reliably vegan)*. Reduce heat to low and cook until curry is highly fragrant. Put into larger jar, cool, put in fridge to use as needed. That’s it, that is the magic.
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1 can of water (use warm water, helps to rinse coconut milk out of can)
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup of red curry paste, prepared per the above note
- 1 2-3 pound kabocha squash, peeled and in bite-size chunks
- 1 package of water-pack, extra-firm tofu (12-14oz), cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 pound of green beans, stringed and snapped into bite-sized pieces (or 2 crowns of broccoli)
Into a slow-cooker set on high add the green beans, coconut milk, water, curry paste, and pumpkin.
Cook for a 2 hours and add tofu*. Cook another 45 minutes. *If you’re using broccoli instead of or in addition to green beans, add it now)
Enjoy with rice noodles, rice, or with a spoon.
*A note about oil:curry paste ratio. The 1/2 cup to 14 ounces of curry paste works out to around 2 teaspoons per ounce of curry. The smallest jar you can purchase is 4 ounces, which would be just a little more than 2.5 Tablespoons needed to cook it. Since it keeps for a while in the fridge once prepared, I always just use a 14 ounce tub of curry paste and use it as needed.