This general recipe can be used to make any curry meal. Try it with chicken, eggplant, spinach, garlic and basil. If you have access to an Asian or world food market, try fresh galangal instead of ginger for an authentic Thai flavor. The blue corn meal thickens this into a stew. Vegetarians can easily leave out the meat. Skipping the coconut milk turns it from a Thai-style dish to an Indian one. Makes 8-10 servings.
4 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 large onions (or 4-5 small), chopped
2 pounds stew meat, trimmed and diced
1½ cups blue cornmeal (or flour)
1 cup chicken stock or hot water
3-4 tablespoons curry paste
2 28 oz. cans tomatoes (diced and/or crushed; fireroasted complements the curry flavors)
2 cans coconut milk
1-1½ pounds potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
2-3 cups of chard, remove stems and chopped
1-inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2-3 Kaffir lime leaves (available in the regular spice aisle).
1 crushed red chile
2 cups frozen peas and carrots (or add fresh carrots at the same time you add the potatoes)
2 tablespoons cilantro, leaves chopped
Heat oil in medium/large pot, and add onions. Stir occasionally and cook until soft and translucent, about seven minutes.
While the onions are cooking, dredge meat in blue cornmeal. Have ready to add to pan. Whisk curry paste into liquid for even distribution. Add to pan when onions are soft.
Add meat to pan and stir frequently. The meat will stick to the pan, but you can keep scraping with a spatula. Add some extra oil if it is too sticky. Let meat cook until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add extra curry paste to adjust spice level as needed.
Transfer meat and onions into crock pot. Add tomatoes, coconut milk, potatoes, chard, ginger, Kaffir lime leaves and red chile. Cover and let cook 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
If you use frozen peas and carrots, you can add them during the last 15 minutes of cooking. Or, if you don’t have time to do that, cook as directed on back of package and stir into stew just before serving. Remove any Kaffir lime leaves you can find.
Add cilantro before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste.