Curries are the meat and potatoes of many Asian cuisines, the go-to, one-pot meal for millions of people from Thailand to India to Singapore. In this country, curries are often misunderstood as being either too spicy or too difficult to cook with. But, in fact, curries can be made with subtle flavors just as readily as bold ones, and good, authentic curry dishes can be whipped up within minutes. An entire meal can be made from buying just a few fresh ingredients and relying on basic items, like coconut milk, curry pastes and dried rice noodles. To prepare these dishes, I purposely did not shop in a specialty grocery store. You can find their ingredients in any large supermarket.
I’ve also included a broad variety of curries to appeal to different taste buds. The traditional Indian curry, made with braised lamb leg, is a classic. Thai curries can be quite thin but still boast huge flavors, like the red duck curry, which I serve regularly at my own Thai restaurant. For a not-so-hot curry, try the Singaporean chicken Laksa, in which the primary flavoring components are turmeric and lime juice. And for a closer-to-home spin on the curry theme, try the curried crab— you may not reach for the Old Bay ever again.
Chicken and Coconut Milk Laksa
Andrew Evans is owner/chef of Thai Ki in Easton.