Thursday, June 21, 2012

Green Curry

Summer is here for real, bringing late afternoon storms and daily highs in the 90s.  While this means bad things for my hair, it means great things for our herb garden.

Our basil, in particular, has come in like gangbusters. 

I can't really call it a problem, because I love basil.  I love the way it smells (a bit like licorice, a bit like pepper, but sunny and bright).  I love the way it looks:  a green just a shade darker than springtime.  Most of all, I love the way it tastes.

But even I am having a hard time using up the bounty in my earth box.  Pizzas, pastas ... I'm even tempted to try basil ice cream.

This simple green curry is not a traditional use of basil.  More to the point, green curry usually uses Thai basil rather than sweet basil, but you go to the kitchen with the basil you have ... and the sweet basil works pretty darned well.

The curry paste can be frozen, so don't worry that this recipe makes more than you would use in a single meal.  To turn the paste into a delicious dish, simply simmer vegetables (I used potato, cauliflower, and carrots) in two cups of vegetable stock, one can light coconut milk, and the green curry paste.  When the vegetables are tender, add some green peas, a can of rinsed chick peas, and some diced baby corn . . . and bring back to a simmer.  (You could throw in some cooked chicken if you prefer.)  Serve over rice.

Green Curry Paste

2 jalepenos, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 c. cilantro leaves
3/4 c. fresh basil
1/3 c. ginger (peeled, coarsely chopped)
3 Tbs. chopped garlic
1 Tbs. grated lime zest
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1 tsp. each cumin, black pepper, and salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender, food processor, or mini chopper.  Add enough water to make a paste. 


  1. We have tons of basil in the garden right now. Thanks for this awesome recipe!

  2. What a brilliant idea! We usually have those tiny jars of Thai curry hanging around, but this sounds much tastier, and if it freezes well we can take advantage of the basil season and stockpile it. Yum!

  3. This sounds great, and I also have lots of basil to use up. How much of the green curry do you put into the vegetables when you make the dish?

  4. I'm a huge fan of pesto on white pizza. I bet this would work well that way, too!

    ~ Krista

  5. Yum, the bunnies aren't eating my basil-so I'll have to give it a try. I have sweet basil, purple ruffle basil, boxwood basil, and chocolate basil!

  6. Vickie, I use the whole batch of paste in my veg, but add it a few Tbs. at a time until you get your desired level of intensity flavor-wise. Me, I like a pretty zesty curry. :) A lot will depend on how hot your peppers are. This go-round, I used one large jalepeno instead of the usual 2 regular-sized ones; the larger peppers tend to be a bit more mild (in my experience), so I'm not getting much heat in my curry this time.

    Kat - I'm so envious of your various basils! What does one do with chocolate basil? I'm intrigued!

    And Krista, this would be great on pizza or naan with grilled vegies. What a wonderful idea!

  7. I'm envious - we can't get basil to grow well where we live. The weather must just not be what they like. I have lots of other herbs in my garden so I'm not really complaining but I'd love to have basil.

  8. I had to come back and add: I love this recipe! I made up a batch when it first appeared here, and since then I've been applying it to almost everything, and it's all good! I'm ready to make more.