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instant pot thai curries

Thai Red Curry Soup

Thai Red Curry SoupHearty, healthy, rich and creamy, Thai Red Curry Soup is perhaps one of my favorites meals to make when I’m in the mood for something sweet and spicy. This delicious and nutritious soup is filled with protein, has tons of veggies and the creamy yum coconut milk gives it a smooth and velvety texture . A squeeze of lime towards the end, cuts through that richness and balances this soup really well. I make quite a few variations of this soup. I switch the proteins and make it with chicken or shrimp, and a vegetarian version with Extra Firm Tofu.

Thai Red Curry Soup is quick and easy to make, and it’s just perfect for weeknights:

Thai Red Curry SoupThai recipes come together in a flash, especially when I use a store-bought curry paste. I’m all about making things from scratch, but when I found out that my local favorite Thai restaurant uses these pre-made curry pastes, I just had to try them. There are many brands for Thai curry paste in the stores, and I’ve tried a fair share of them. I found Maesri brand to be the most authentic in terms of flavors and consistency. I always keep these curry pastes and a can of coconut milk in my pantry. That makes weeknight dinners a breeze. I put together some fresh or frozen chicken, fresh peppers and broccoli, mix the curry paste with coconut milk, add it all to the Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker), pressure cook it for 5 minutes, and dinner is on the table in under 30 minutes!

Make it vegetarian and customize it:

Thai Red Curry SoupIt is extremely easy to customize this soup to your liking. I switch up the proteins and veggies all the time.

To make this soup vegetarian, simply add firm tofu or Paneer (Indian cottage cheese), instead of chicken! Since tofu/paneer is already cooked, add it after pressure cooking the soup, along with the assorted veggies. This way it doesn’t get overcooked and still absorbs the wonderful flavors of the soup.

I love the crunch and flavor of assorted vegetables in Thai Red Curry Soup. I like to add sliced bell-peppers, onions, baby corn and zucchini, but you can add pretty much any kind of vegetables you like. In this recipe, I add the veggies after the pressure cooking process so they retain a nice crunch and stay fresh.  Even frozen vegetables work great in this soup. Simply add them after the pressure cooking process and cook for a few minutes on sauté till they thaw and absorb the soup flavors. You can garnish it with cilantro, Thai basil or even mint. I like to have this soup as-is, but if you love to pair Thai recipes with rice, you can serve this with some white or Brown jasmine rice.

Healthier Carb Option:

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Thai Green Curry with Tofu- Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

Thai Green Curry TofuThai Green Curry with Tofu is one of the most popular and spiciest curry dish that you will find at a Thai restaurant. This curry is made by cooking a homemade or store-bought curry paste with coconut milk. Thai curry paste is a combination of many aromatics and dry spices. The curry paste includes lemongrass, ginger-root, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, chilies, and, some fragrant dry spices like coriander and cumin. It’s  lemony, earthy, spicy, and,  pairs really well with the creamy coconut milk. The two balance each other so well and the result is a sweet and spicy curry that compliments any meat or vegetable you add to it.  I love making this curry vegetarian by using extra-firm Tofu, but can make this curry with the protein of your choice- Chicken, Shrimp or even Beef.  Thai Green Curry is another weeknight favorite in my home!

Homemade Green Curry Paste:

When I have time to plan ahead, I like to make this paste from scratch. I blend together the following with a tablespoon or so of oil for easy blending:

  • 1 lemongrass stalks, outer layers removed
  • 5 serrano chiles, de-seeded
  • 1 large shallot, cut in half
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2-inch piece ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves with stems
  • 1/2 cup Thai basil leaves

Thai Green Curry TofuStore-bought Thai Curry Paste:

But then there are days, where I barely have time to cook. For those days, this pre-made paste works great. I really like the Maesri brand of Thai curry pastes. They make weeknight meals taste so good. I always tell my friends that Maesri curry pastes are so authentic, that if you ever did a blind taste test, you won’t be able to tell between a restaurant version and yours.

I simply simmer this paste with coconut milk, add protein and vegetables and cook it for 2 minutes in my programable pressure cooker, Instant Pot, on Manual or Pressure Cook, QR after 5 minutes! Finish with brown sugar and few drops of lime juice. Simultaneously, I make Brown Jasmine rice and our meal is done!

Spice level Tip:

This Thai paste is on the spicier side. If you’re not sure about the spice level, start by adding 1/2 a can of this pre-made paste. If you like it to be more spicy, you can always add a few more tablespoons after the cooking process, and then saute it for a few more till everything comes together.

Thai Green Curry Tofu

Customize your Thai Green Curry:

I make this curry  with Chicken, Shrimp or Extra-Firm Tofu. You can add your choice of vegetables like  water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, zuchhini. If adding peppers, I would them after cooking and saute for 2 minutes. When cooking this with Chicken , increase the cooking time to 4 minutes for bite size chicken pieces. When cooking this with Shrimp, cook the curry for 1 minute, QR, and then add the Shrimp, saute’ for 1-2 minutes, till they turn opaque. If you add them earlier, they’ll be over cooked. This is a very versatile curry, add your favorite combination and enjoy!

Thai Green Curry Tofu

More Thai Favorites from my Kitchen:

Instant Pot Thai Panang Chicken Curry

Thai Panang Chicken Curry

Thai-Red-Curry-Soup recipe

Thai Red Curry Soup

Thai Massaman Curry

Massaman Curry

Brown Jasmine Rice in Instant Pot, garam masala kitchen

Brown Jasmine Rice

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