Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Coconut Green Curry Eggplant and Tempeh: Recipe

This is a vegetarian recipe with a high easiness to awesomeness ratio. It only takes a few minutes of actual work, and people will be all, "You MADE this?!"

The rich, spicy, complicated flavors come from the combination of coconut and green curry, both of which come in convenient cans. I buy the Maesri brand in the vacuum packs which you see pictured. You can also buy it on-line in cans. It should run you about $1 or 2 per can, and you only use a couple tablespoons per recipe.

Canned coconut milk is available at almost every grocery store, but you'll be much better off if you can find an Asian grocery store. I buy mine at Ranch 99 on Buford Highway here in Atlanta for about $.69 a can. (Big chain grocery stores charge around $1.99 and up!)

You can use any kind of eggplant, but the little Thai green eggplants are great, and the small purple globe Indian eggplants are what Jeff and I used. I kind of like the little ones in this recipe.

The recipe also calls for lime leaves, but if you can't find them, you can make the recipe without them. They just add some really great flavor.

Oh, and I can't believe I almost forgot! There's an old folk wisdom that says that eating a spicy eggplant curry is a way to induce labor in a pregnant woman who's overdue. Last year, my sister was slightly past her due date, and I made this curry for her. She ate it, and, yep, like clockwork, next day, out plopped a kid.

I think I read somewhere that there may be something to it all: the theory is that chemicals in eggplant--including trace amounts of nicotine--may be stimulating and help induce labor.

Coconut-Green Curry Eggplant and Tempeh
or Matthew's Welcome-to-the-World Curry

2 cans (14 ounces each) coconut milk
2 or 3 Tbsp Green Curry
1 pound eggplant (cut into bite-sized pieces)
12 lime leaves, torn in half
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or miso broth
1 1/2 Tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 pckg (12- 16 ounces) tempeh, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 red pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1. Open one can of coconut milk and pour it into a wok or large pan. Heat for a few minutes until it is close to boiling.

2. Add the curry paste and cook for a few more minutes, stirring to mix the paste into the cocnut milk. Add the remaining coconut milk and heat through.

3. Add the eggplant, the lime leaves, stock, sugar, soy sauce, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the eggplant is very tender and the sauce has thickened, about 20-30 minutes.

4. While the eggplant is cooking, steam the tempeh for about 15 minutes. (Or you can fry it in hot oil for about five minutes if you like it crispy. I like to keep things light and easy, though.)

5.Stir the tempeh into the curry mixture. Allow to heat through. Let the curry set for about 5 minutes off the heat. Serve over rice with a sprinkling of cilantro on top.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so very funny!
I do believe in those folk remedies. I used a midwife for
my pre/post natal care - so you
know where my head is at.
I will definitely try this recipe.
It looks great. My daughters are
6 and 13 yrs. My whole life I have
been an adventurous cook, leaning
towards vegetarian. They are so
damn picky though. A lot of negative influence from schools and
friends who have never heard of
tempeh and think you're weird if you eat tofu. Very frustrating.
Love your blog.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

I have to correct you-I wasn't past my due date, I just looked and felt that way. The doctor wanted to induce labor because she thought Matthew was going to be too big (he was 7 lbs 10 oz). Anyway, I ate my lil' bro.'s eggplant curry and presto-out pops little Matt the very next day. Not only did I love the dish but I got a bonus baby out of it too!!! Just another reason that Andrew rocks as a chef and a brother...

12:01 PM  
Blogger FilmStocker said...

Thanks, ya'll, for the nice words.

You're a rockin' sis and a great new mom to boot, Jenn.

Anon, sorry your kids seem so picky. Have you seen Vegan Lunch Box before? It's by this over-the-top, rad mom who prepares elaborate vegan lunches for her kid everyday and blogs them.

I've never had to feed fussy kids before (I take my hat off to you!), but maybe her blog would have an idea or two for making veggie food fun for kids.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello again! Yes I have certainly
heard of the vegan lunchbox. I
linked to you from her site.
I must say Little Shmoo seems like
one of those kids who will eat just
about anything. I'm green with
Hello, Jenn. I'm thinking back to
the night I went into labor with my
older daughter. I made soy falafel
and it was quite spicy. I went into labor at 10:30 pm and she was
born at 6:45 am the next day! Maybe it was the meal??? I'll have
to go back and check the ingredients!
Yes, Andrew sounds like a great
chef, brother and all around nice

8:05 PM  

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