I mentioned to my Thai friend that you were looking for a green curry recipe without coconut milk. The reply was, “Without coconut milk, you have no curry.”
This from Kasma Loha-Unchit, award winning cookbook author and cooking teacher:
"If you are concerned about the saturated fat content in coconut milk, know that this saturated fat has been shown in many independent studies to be a good saturated fat, easily metabolized to give your body quick energy. Contrary to popular myth, it does not transform into bad cholesterol to clog up arteries. In fact, cultures around the world that depend on coconut as their main source of fat have been found to be free of heart disease. The principle fatty acid in coconut milk is lauric acid, which is the same fat found in abundance in mother’s milk and is known to promote normal brain development and contribute to healthy bones. It also has important anti-carcinogenic and anti-pathogenic properties and is less likely to cause weight gain than polyunsaturated oils.
The potent anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-microbial effects of coconut oil have implicated it in the treatment of both AIDS and candida. Whatever bad things you may have heard or read about coconut milk have not stood up to scrutiny by unbiased food scientists; however, the goodness of coconut milk has not been given equal press because of intensive lobbying against it by the powerful vegetable oil industry. Southeast Asians, meanwhile, have been staying healthy for generations with coconut an integral part of their diet."
What can be more healthy than a product that promotes normal brain development and contributes to healthy bones, has anti-carcinogenic and anti-pathogenic properties and anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-microbial effects?
I hear ye and understand the health benefits (i guess i asked for that reply from u, when i mentioned ‘healthier’, instead of ‘less fattening’! ) but i want to try a alternative that is less fattening (regardless of how beneficial the fat from coconut milk maybe ) ?
Not sure about fresh coconut water’s fat/calorie content but why not try to use that instead on the milk? you can also boil it down to concentrate the coconut flavor. Just make sure you buy a fresh young coconut, it will have a ton of juice in it, which by the way is incredibly good for you! let me know how it turns out if you try it, I love all curries but try to watch the calorie intake so I know what you mean!
Coconut water will never give you the creaminess of coconut milk. The thing is if you are concerned with calories eat less curry and not so often. Life is too short to completely deprive yourself of good food.
It’s quite obvious that coconut water will not give the same creaminess that coconut milk would give. The point is the flavor of coconut. When your trying to be health conscious it’s not a bad idea to improvise and make healthy changes to your fav recipes, so that you don’t feel deprived. Simply eating less of it, less often won’t really give fulfillment either!
Just saying!! Don’t be afraid to change recipes to make them healthier. No they won’t be authentic and like the original but can still be very tasty!!
You can try using coconut water, but I fear you will not be satisfied with the result. Here is a recipe for Thai jungle curry that doesn’t use coconut milk.
Jungle Curry Paste
* 5 green chillies
* 1 tbsp white peppercorns
* 1 lemongrass stalk, finely sliced
* 4cm piece galangal or ginger, peeled and finely chopped
* 3 kaffir lime leaves, shredded or zest of 1/2 a lime
* 1 tsp shrimp paste
* 6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
* 5 small shallots, finely chopped (small purple ones are the best)
* 2 tbsp coriander, chopped (optional)
* 600g pork fillet or chicken fillet, sliced into thin strips 3-4cm in length and 1cm wide
* 60g bamboo shoot slices (canned)
* 16 pea eggplant or 4 small eggplant, trimmed and quartered
* 2 tbsp oil
* 400ml water or chicken stock
* 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
* 1 stem of green peppercorns *(optional)
* 4 tbsp holy basil leaves*
* Steamed or boiled rice
Jungle Curry Paste:
In a dry frying pan dry fry the peppercorns until the begin to crackle. Remove them from the pan and allow them to cool. Place the chillies and peppercorns in a mortar pestle and grind to paste. Add the remaining ingredients and grind to a smooth paste or place all the ingredients in food processor and blend to a paste.
Curry: Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or wok over a moderately high heat when hot add the curry paste and cook until aromatic. Add the meat and stir so that it is coated with the paste and sealed. Pour in the water and fish sauce and bring to the boil. With a slotted spoon remove the meat from the pan and set aside in a warm place until ready to serve. Remove 3/4 of the water. Reduce it to a simmer and add the bamboo shoots and aubergines and cook until they are tender. Return the meat to the pan and stir in 2 tbsp of the basil leaves and serve.
To Serve: Place the curry onto a deep plate or bowl and garnish it with the peppercorns and remaining basil leaves. Serve with cooked Jasmine rice.
Peppercorns on a stem available from many East Asian grocers. While they add some authenticity to the dish at times they can be difficult to find.*Holy Basil leaves are available from many East Asian Grocers, they have a very pungent flavor.
Sour Curry is a tart, watery curry which does not have coconut milk. The broth is made sour with tamarind paste and is salted with fish sauce. There are a variety of vegetables which can be used. Sour curry is usually made with ground fish and or shrimp.
* 1/2 cup small dried chilies
* 2 1/2 tablespoons finger root, chopped fine
* 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
* 1/3 cup sliced shallots
6 cups water
1 1/2 cups black grouper fish (or any white fish), scaled and cut into about 10 pieces (with skin on)
3 cups Chinese turnip (or daikon radish), sliced in half and cut into 1/2" wide pieces
2 1/2 tablespoons palm sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 cup very thin tamarind paste (if using store-bought, or thicker, use less. Add a teaspoon at a time until desired tartness)
2 cups of veggies such as: long beans, Napa cabbage, watermelon peel, pumpkin, water spinach, cauliflower, green papaya, pickled bamboo shoots.
Soak the chilies in water until soft. When soft, drain and slice into pieces.
Make the curry paste by smashing the chilies until a paste, then adding the finger root, shallots and finally shrimp paste. Pound until smooth in a stone mortar & pestle, or use an electric blender.
Boil the water, and then add the curry paste. Boil for about a minute, and add the raw fish (with skin still on).
Boil the fish for about 3 minutes, until the fish is white inside and soft. Fish out the fish. Take the skin off and discard. Pound the fish pieces into a paste with the mortar and pestle, or blend in an electric blender until smooth. Add the paste back into the boiling curry.
Add the Chinese turnip and boil for 10 minutes until the turnip is soft and somewhat transparent.
Add the palm sugar, tamarind paste and fish sauce. Make sure the turnip is cooked properly before you do this step.
Add the rest of the veggies and cook for a minute until soft. Remove from heat and serve.
Yes i prefer to curry fresh, not from the packages people use some much today.
Here is a green curry paste recipe.
8 small green chilies, seed and chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh coriander (stems and roots included)
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped shallots
1/4 cup (50 mL) trimmed and chopped lemongrass
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 piece galangal, peeled (1 inch/2.5 cm)
2 tsp (10 mL) ground coriander
2 tsp (10 mL) vegetable oil
1 tsp (5 ml) each ground cumin, turmeric and shrimp paste
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper
In blender, pur?together chilies, coriander, shallots, lemongrass, garlic, galangal, coriander, oil, cumin, turmeric, shrimp paste, salt and pepper.