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Kari Saramann Tao-Hou
Vegetarian Saramann Curry

Main Dish - Kari Saramann Tao-hou - thumbnail

Saramann curry is typically made with meat - beef, lamb or chicken. However, for family and friends who are vegetarians, I have created this variation of the dish. Not only does it take a much shorter time to cook, but it also tastes just as nice as the meaty version.

Serves 3-4  

Ingredients
Coconut cream 1½ x 400ml tins (600 ml / 1⅔ pt) - buy tins that have at least 60% coconut (photo)
Cardamom2 5 pods - squashed open
Onion 1 - finely chopped
Saramann Kroeung1 (saramann spice paste) 1½ Tbsp (20g) - see recipe
Paprika 2 tsp

Deep Fried Tofu 230g x 1pack – halved (available at Asian grocery stores) - (photo)
Soy sauce 2 Tbsp
Palm sugar
cup (65g) - broken into small pieces (photo)
Concentrated tamarind juice3 1½ Tbsp (available at Asian grocery stores) - (photo)
Roasted unsalted peanuts ½ cup
Medium potatoes 2, cut into 4cm/1½ in. chunks
String beans 1 handful – cut into 4cm/1½ in pieces (use French beans as an alternative)
Vegetable stock powder 2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Coriander (cilantro) leaves, a few sprigs for garnish 

Method
1 -
Separating coconut cream from milk - In a tin, the coconut cream floats and the milk remains underneath. To separate the coconut cream from the milk, just scoop out about ¾ cup of coconut cream from the top of the tins and the rest is coconut milk. Set aside. If using freshly grated coconut meat, see recipe

2 - In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the coconut cream to the boil over medium heat. Leave to boil for a few minutes until you see oil beginning to separate from the cream. Then add onion and stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Then stir in the saramann paste, cardamom and paprika, and continue stir-frying for another 2 minutes or until fragrant. You may need to lower the heat slightly to avoid burning.   

3 – Add in the tofu pieces, fish sauce, sugar, tamarind juice, peanuts, potatoes, beans, powder stock and salt, and mix well. Continue to stir-fry for 1 minute or so, then pour in the coconut milk and mix well. Bring back to the boil, and then lower the heat to simmer for a further 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Adjust to taste. Once cooked, skim off some of the oil from the top and discard.

4 - Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with a few coriander leaves, and serve with steamed rice or a French baguette with a side dish of ‘Instant vegetable pickle’. 

Tips:

Freshly made saramann spice paste gives the best aroma. However, if time is short, you can use ‘Thai Masman’ curry paste which is available at supermarkets or Asian grocery stores. 

2  Cardamom can be bought at Asian grocery stores. 

If not available, you can use fresh tamarind fruit or tamarind block (available at Asian grocery stores), and extract the juice by following this recipe

Did you know ...

This unattractive humble fruit, tamarind, is a good source of many important minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, selenium and magnesium. Potassium helps control heart rate and blood pressure; and Iron is essential for red blood cell production. Tamarind is also rich in many vital vitamins including thiamin, vitamin A, folic acid and vitamin-C which are essential for optimum health. 

 

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