Thai Chickpea and Kale Curry and Coconut Fried Rice

This week, I bought a fresh coconut. I didn’t know what I was going to do with it, but it was in my Imperfect Foods (referral link – we both get $10 toward a box) order and so there we were. Me. And a coconut. Looking at each other.

Image by tree-species on Flickr

Somewhere in the back of my mind was a vague memory of coconut fried rice. So, I googled around, never quite finding the right recipe, but getting enough info to cobble together. And then decided to partner it with a very basic Thai curry.

Coconut Fried Rice

Ingredients
8 cups cooked and chilled rice (I used Loto Rice for something different)
2-3 cups coconut meat, finely chopped (fresh or frozen fresh)
⅓ inch of fresh ginger, finely diced or grated
½ teaspoon garlic, minced
¼ cup coconut water or 1 tsp olive oil in scant ¼ cup water
2 TBSP olive or sesame oil
2-3 scallions, chopped

Process
– Add coconut, ginger, and garlic to a wok or large sauté pan.
– Cook over medium-high heat, tossing frequently for even toasting. If/when it begins to get overly dry, add a bit of the coconut water. You likely won’t use the whole amount.
– Once coconut meat has become slightly golden, push to the sides of the pan and add oil. Allow to heat and then add rice.
– Toss rice in oil area for a few moments, then reincorporate the coconut meat mix.
– Add scallions, reduce heat a bit, and continue to cook for 5-8 minutes.
– If you aren’t ready to serve yet, lower heat to low and just remember to stir occasionally. Do not cover with a lid. You don’t want rice to get mushy.

Easy Thai Chickpea Curry

Ingredients
2 TBSP olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
½ inch of ginger, minced or grated
1 red pepper, diced
2 cans chickpeas, drained
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tsp Thai red curry paste
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 large handful of kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped/ripped

Process
– Sauté onion, pepper, and ginger in olive oil over medium heat until onion is translucent.
– Add chickpeas, tomatoes, and curry paste
– Cook until heated through
– Smash up some of the chickpeas for texture and to help thicken
– Add coconut milk and stir in
– Add kale, cover, and allow to simmer 5 minutes
– Reduce heat to low until ready to serve


Sweet Potato Curry Soup

I made soup and baguettes today. The soup looks prettier, though the baguettes were tasty. I sort of fake this soup recipe, so I am guessing on the amounts!

Ingredients
4 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
3 lbs of sweet potatoes, chopped
2 lbs of white potatoes, chopped
2 quarts of vegetable (or faux chicken) broth
Curry powder
Cumin
Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
1 large can of coconut milk

Process
Add olive oil, onion, garlic, and ginger to your pressure cooker and sauté until onions are translucent.
Add the potatoes, broth, and seasoning and put the lid on. Bring to high pressure and cook for 20 minutes, then allow to come back down. Use an immersion blender or other blender to blend soup, then add the coconut milk and allow to simmer for 10 more minutes.
Serve with crusty bread!

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry

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This is a two part recipe. The first part is making the curry paste (you can also buy curry paste). This curry paste recipe, adapted slightly from Pinch of Yum, is easy to do and will make double (or more) the amount you need for the curry, so freeze the other half for use later.

Yellow Curry Paste

  • 4 large shallots
  • 4 large heads of garlic
  • 1 6-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1½ tablespoons salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons turmeric
  • 2-3 tablespoons mild curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons roasted ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons lemongrass paste (I use Gourmet Garden which they sell at my regular grocery store)
  • ¼ cup packed cilantro leaves and stems
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel the shallots – then drizzle with oil and wrap in foil.
  3. Peel the ginger and cut into thin slices. Arrange in a single layer, drizzle with oil, and wrap in foil.
  4. Pull the outer paper off the garlic. Cut the pointy tops off the heads of garlic so the cloves are partially exposed. Drizzle with oil, and wrap in foil.
  5. Place all the foil packets on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes.
  6. Remove the ginger (it should be soft).
  7. Increase the temperature to 400, and roast the shallots and garlic for another 20 minutes until golden brown and very fragrant.
  8. Put the softened ginger, the shallots, the garlic (after you get it all over you trying to get it out of the bulb), and the remaining ingredients in a food processor or very strong blender. Pulse until the paste reaches desired consistency.

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 cups of cooked chickpeas (drain and rinse if canned)
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 large handful of kale, chopped
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • ⅔ cup yellow curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil, sweet potato, and onions over a medium-low heat until the sweet potatoes are tender and the onions soften and begin to caramelize.
  2. Add the chickpeas and the curry paste, stir (the potatoes will break apart mostly, which is ok). Allow to simmer until heated through.
  3. Add the kale and coconut milk and again simmer to hot, checking for spice level here. Add more red pepper flakes if needed.

I found this to be very very delicious. The paste was also a success for the omnivores in a chicken curry.

Serve over rice, noodles, or alone. Enjoy!