Friday, November 16, 2007

Sweet-potato stew (Thai-style) :)

Hi! all :). i am back after my hiatus ;). I apologize for not posting, late replies to the comments and lazy blog-hopping. Not that i didn't have any time, i probably did, atleast on some days.....but may be, i was tired.....and not in the right mood to post. If i would have posted something in a rush, it wouldn't have come out well :-D. And when i did feel like posting, i got sick. Hmm, so today i am back, hoping that i can post something :). I am sure you understand :).

What i want to share today is a lovely stew made out of sweet-potatoes, prepared in Thai style. Yup, Thai style (and not Thai, because i have only had it in a restaurant and have approximated it from an online recipe, so am not sure if its authentic Thai or not, but it definitely does use a lot of popular ingredients from Thai cuisine). The sweet potato cubes are simmered in coconut milk with green peas (which are either used as such or as a replacement for Thai pea-eggplants when they are not available. The restaurant dish used green peas), ginger, red chillies paste and basil. The result is a yummy, creamy stew :).

As i mentioned, i first had this dish at a restaurant and really loved it. So, i looked up the recipe online, and modiefied it to include similar ingredients and get a similar taste. The original recipes can be found here. I've mostly relied on the second recipe, and included basil and peas.

Yup, and ginger plays a key role in this recipe. You now know where this recipe is heading to :). Yup, for the thoughtful get-together celebrating ginger, at Sunita's place :). Now, if you really look around this blog, you'd notice my love for ginger :-D.

Majority of the recipes here rely heavily on ginger, especially the daal/beans recipes :). If you are all for ginger, you'll enjoy those too :). So, most of my regular, everyday food does celebrate ginger-that's why i thought to write about something different, using ginger. Since its a Thai recipe, galangal would do well here. But from the taste, i guess the restaurant used ginger.

So, here is how i made it:

Thai style sweet-potato stew:

We need:

  • 1 big sweet potato, peeled and cubed in to 1/2" cubes (i used garnet sweet-potato)-gives about 30-35 cubes.
  • 3/4 can of light coconut milk ( i use Chao-Koh or thai Kitchen brands)
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1/2 onion (chopped-optional)
  • 1 heaped tbsp. grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 heaped tsp. red chilli paste (you can use sambal oelek)
  • 1 tsp. lemon grass (pounded into paste)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 5-6 basil leaves

First, prepare the sweet potato. Its difficult to cube, so you can soften it a bit by microwaving it for 1-2 minutes. Make 1/2" cubes out of it, and to reduce the preparation time, drizzle the cubes with some water and microwave an additional 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil in a deep pan and saute' the onions. Now add the crushed garlic and grated ginger and saute' for another minute. Add the lemongrass paste and red-chilli paste next and mix well. Add 1 cup of water and cubed sweet potatoes (original recipe calls for vegetable broth, water is good enough) and bring to boil. Next, add the coconut milk, salt and 1-2 basil leaves and simmer on low till the stew thickenes a bit. Garnish with remaining basil leaves and serve hot with plain boiled rice of your choice. Enjoy :).

As i said, i am taking this to our ginger themed potluck hosted by the lovely Sunita. Thanks, Sunita, for celebrating my ever favorite spice :). And did i tell you, that ginger is really good to relieve minor coughs and colds and body-aches :). Not to mention that it smells "oh, soooooooo fresh" :). Hope you all enjoy this and will pardon me for being a not-so-regular blogger :-D.