Sauce

Coconut Water Asian Curry Sauce

Are you ever in a mental lull? This is a month of a severe workload, while trying to juggle family and weddings (yes, attending weddings are exhausting) and of course all the travel that somehow eats up days like M&Ms – needless to say my mood is bad. Very, very bad. It makes me want to quit, hide under the covers, and all of a sudden, my regular bouts of insomnia have been replaced with excessive deep sleep between the specific hours of 5.30AM to 9.30AM. And, yeah, the cold wave didn’t help matters. Exhaustion has a new meaning. Unfortunately, these are not excusable points when you have client deliverables, a team behind you and every business deadline – so the one thing that can cure most issues in life is food (no, not exercise, kindly exit this if you are of that school of thought!).

At times like these, I need good food. And I mean really good food. It’s perhaps the only thing that helps me get out of bed – the thought of coffee, a gorgeous French toast breakfast, or a delicious lunch. I believe in wholesome meals – and it must be a visual treat. And of course, therapeutic to make. That’s the beauty of cooking – it manages to distract you beautifully away from the annoying persistent thoughts that refuse to go away. And this dish is the perfect antidote to those kind of days.

Cooking with coconut water is fairly unheard of – but needs to be brought to your attention. I’ve spent some time reading up on this and you can expect a few more innovative recipes with this. Coconut water in this curry sauce works brilliantly to make it lighter and also avoid the calories that come with coconut milk. Also, easier to whip up last minute as I always have nariyal paani around, but not always coconut milk packs – as I’m sure most Gujarati homes do too. It lends a mild flavor, without overpowering and allows the aromatics of ginger and kaffir lime leaf take center stage.

This curry can be made in minutes and forms the perfect one-dish complete meal – rice, protein, greens and wholesomeness. This curry starts with the cooking of onion, garlic, ginger and chilies, and then coconut water, crushed peanuts, and the beautiful kaffir lime leaf. Trust me, after this lunch/dinner, the world will feel much nicer.

This sauce can be looked as multipurpose – a marinade, dipping sauce, stirred into fried rice…

Note: a quickie version can be made with using peanut butter in place of crushed peanuts; add around 3 tbsp of peanut butter along with the coconut water – just know that it will already have salt and added preservatives

 

The Recipe
Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 100ml GRAVY
  • 100ml coconut water
  • 1/4 cup toasted peanuts
  • sesame oil
  • 1 keffir lime leaf
  • 1 tsp garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp soya sauce
  • pinch of turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice (brown or white)
  • 100g tofu or paneer slices

Instructions

  • Crush the onion, garlic, ginger and peanuts together to make a paste
  • Heat a teaspoon of sesame oil in a pan with higher sides
  • Add the paste and chili flakes and sauté for a few minutes
  • Add the kefir lime leaf, turmeric, soya sauce and stir for a few more minutes
  • Add the coconut water and stir to create a sauce
  • Add salt to taste
  • Once the sauce has come together, remove from the pan into sauce bowl
  • In the same pan add the broccoli and tofu to grill, with a sprinkle of salt
  • Place the rice on one half of the flat bowl
  • Place the grilled tofu on top
  • Add the peanut sauce on the other side of the bowl and add the veggies on top
  • Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top
  • Serve
  • Note: this sauce can be made in advance and reheated just before serving