This Southeast Asian vegetable curry is not vegetarian since it contains shrimp paste and chicken broth. I make it quite spicy, but it can be adjusted to your taste. The specific quantities, and even the specific vegetables, are not really critical. It IS important to heat the oil, pastes, and powders together to release the flavors and integrate them together.
This is a good recipe to use when you have a large bounty from your garden or a refrigerator full of perishable vegetables. This curry is good as a meal on its own or as a sidedish. It is a very good rainy day dish.
When available, I use store-bought jars of:
Sambal Blachan - a mixture of red chili, dried shrimp, ginger, garlic, shallots, and spices,
Blachan Chili – chili and shrimp paste, and
A Sambal is a chili based sauce. Blachan (or belacan or balachan) is dried shrimp paste.
If you can't find the prepared mixtures, you can use dried shrimp paste and ad lib, or follow a Sambal Belacan recipe.
Canola oil, Shallots, Garlic, Ginger Paste, Sambal Blachan, Blachan Chili, Shrimp Paste, dry spice powders (turmeric, coriander, and a little cumin), a can of Coconut Cream, several cans of Chicken Broth, your choice of vegetables (Jicama, Carrots, Daikon, Eggplant, Celery, Fried Tofu triangles, Mushrooms, Cabbage, Squash, Green Beans, cooked Potatoes, Cauliflower, Red or Green Peppers). Rice, Rice Noodles, or Lontong (compressed rice). Hard boiled eggs, if desired.
Clean, peel, and chop vegetables, as appropriate. Peel and cook potatoes. Steam the rice and cook the eggs. Mix the dry spices (3 T Coriander, 2 T Turmeric, 1 T Cumin). Stage all ingredients for easy access.
1. Create Aromatic Paste:
In a large pot, saute 3 finely chopped large Shallots in Canola oil. Add 6 cloves of finely chopped garlic. Add 2 teaspoons Ginger Paste. Add 2 teaspoons each (or more to taste) of the Sambal Blachan, Blachan Chili, and Shrimp Paste. Add the dry spices, mix well, and heat through.
2. Add Liquid to Make Curry Gravy:
Add can of Coconut Cream and mix. Add 3 cans of chicken (or vegetable) broth and some hot water. Mix well.
3. Add vegetables and cook until tender.
Serve over rice, rice noodles, or Lontong (compressed rice).
Although there is some effort and clean-up on the day you cook it, this makes a large batch - 10 to 12 servings.
Leftovers keep well for several days in the refrigerator. Add additional vegetables to the gravy, if desired.