Category Archives: curry

Empty Fridge Sweet Potato Curry

So I came back to Austin yesterday after a lovely winter break.  After a long day of traveling, I just wanted to eat something at home for dinner, but the refrigerator was empty, with just a sweet potato and an onion still in there.  I took a look in the cabinets to see what I could scrounge up, and decided to throw together a curry out of a bunch of things I had in cans. And the result….I will definitely be making this again.

canola or vegetable oil
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into rough cubes, about 1 inch square
1/2 onion, sliced thin
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp masaman curry paste (you could use any curry paste you choose)
1/2 tbsp curry powder
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 can coconut milk

1. Heat canola oil over medium heat in a large nonstick pot.  Add onions and a sprinke of salt, and stir to saute until onions begin to soften, about 2 minutes.  Lower the heat if they start to brown too quickly.
2.  Add sweet potatoes, and saute, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and fork tender, about 10-15 minutes.  If they are not browning the way you’d like, but they seem almost done, you can turn the heat up to get some color on those babies.
3.  Add the tomatoes, brown sugar, curry paste, curry powder, and soy sauce, and stir to mix.  Make sure the spices and sugar are dissolved.  Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a simmer, cook about 2 minutes.
4.  Add the chickpeas and cook 1-2 minutes more.
5.  Remove from heat and stir in the coconut milk.

Serve over brown rice.  Makes 2 servings.


"Maybe next time just follow the recipe" Khao Soi Coconut Curry Noodle Soup

So I recently started subscribing to Food & Wine magazine, and last week read this article that made me really, really want a coconut curry noodle soup. I kept thinking about it, since I (thought) I had all the ingredients I needed, and finally I decided to take a break from homework and create this dish I’d been drooling over. I found a recipe for the dish on Recipezaar and set about making it, only to realize I didn’t have the requisite red curry paste. Hmm, what’s an amateur foodie to do? Naturally, I substituted extra curry powder for the curry paste, in the same quantity called for. As it turned out, this was a huge mistake. The soup was overpoweringly curry-y (yes, I just invented that word.) The delicate coconut, chicken and scallion flavors were completely overwhelmed by the massive shock of curry. So folks, do as I say and not as I do. Follow the recipe. It looks like a lot of ingredients but it’s really quite simple and fast once you gather them all from the depths of your cabinets and refrigerator drawers.

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp red curry paste or panang curry paste
  • 3/4 lb boneless chicken (I used tenders because it’s what I keep in the freezer, but thighs would also be delicious if you prefer dark meat), cut into bite sized chunks
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk. I used the Organic Light coconut milk – eliminates the guilt factor of this soup.
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric or curry powder
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Assorted vegetables as desired. I used some sliced zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper from the freezer, left over from the ratatouille the week before.
  • 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 lb noodles – I used round udon because they sold it at my local store. You could improvise as you’d like.
  • 1/3 c. coarsely chopped shallot – I omitted this, didn’t have any.
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro (leave this out if you are like me and loathe cilantro)
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions


  1. Put water on to boil for your noodles.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and then add the garlic. Toss well and add the red curry paste, mashing and stirring to soften it in the oil, about 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook 1 to 2 minutes, tossing now and then to brown it evenly and mix it with the curry paste.
  3. Add the coconut milk, chicken broth, turmeric, soy sauce, sugar, salt and any additional vegetables you desire, and stir well. Bring to a gentle boil and adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer. Cook about 10 minutes until meat is cooked through. At this point, add the noodles to the boiling water. Make sure you set a timer to drain and rinse the noodles when their time in the bathtub is up.
  4. Stir in lime juice, remove from heat, and stir in noodles.
  5. Sprinkle each serving with shallots, scallions and cilantro if you’re into that sort of thing.
The almost-finished soup, simmering away. Deceptively pretty.

***Update: I re-made the soup using green curry paste instead of red, and the correct amount of curry powder, with tofu instead of chicken. For vegetables, I used sliced baby bella mushrooms and a few handfuls of spinach. It was MUCH improved. Make sure you taste it for seasoning before you serve it – it may need salt.