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  1. #11

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    Thanks everyone!
    Im glad Im not the only one who resorts to Jar O Simmer Sauce!

    What exactly is in *fish sauce*? Ive read thst its absolutely revolting to smell...

    And shrimp paste? But it can be substituted with peanut butter?! Wouldnt thst give a totally different taste and effect?

    Ive found ginger root in the grocery store, and Im willing to go back and look again for lemongrass... Keffir lime leaves, Im not so sure about. Same with exotic varieties of peppers.

    I guess the short answer really is... no, not really. Not going to find recipes I can start on at 4:30 for a 5:15 dinner. (Other than jar o simmer sauce.)

    The local indian restaurant owns a grocers, too, about a block away; I will check them out.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

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  3. #12

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    Fish sauce is just fish (often sardines) fermented in salt until they liquefy basically. It smells like salty seaballs, but the flavor is much more mellow than soy sauce; not as salty or sour and the smell dies almost as soon as you add it. As for peanut butter, it's Sodsook's answer to a vegetarian substitute. It adds the texture, but doesn't add the umami of shrimp paste. It still tastes fine as long as you don't use an overly sweet pb, but it takes a little more curry paste to get the same amount of flavor in your curry. I've even made it without either of them, but it does come out a little...flat. BUT, once you make the curry paste it's a pretty fast dinner to put together, I can usually get a curry ready to serve before the rice finishes cooking.

    As for the peppers, I've never had trouble finding them at conventional grocery stores, just look in the Hispanic food section. I have no idea why they're always there, but it's usually a little section of dried peppers in baggies. Lemon grass is the same, in the produce section with the fresh herbs. If you're really lucky you'll find it pre-pasted in a tube. Breaking lemongrass down is the worst part of the whole paste making recipe. I've never found any real difference between Kaffir lime and regular lime in the recipes so I don't bother looking for them.

    Oh, and the other recipes, biryani and tikka masala, you could try 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer. There's a whole chapter on biryani and several masalas. It's on my wishlist and has excellent recipes for dry curry mixes, a specialty of Indian cuisine and much simpler to make that Thai-style wet curry bases. I think I saw someone wanted a Pho recipe and I have an excellent one for that as well.

    Also, I may be obsessed with food. XD
    Kiddo - 7

  4. #13
    Senior Member Arrived TFZ's Avatar
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    This looks easy and yum: https://www.facebook.com/buzzfeedtas...3360610583248/

    I love these Tasty videos. It makes me think I can cook.
    I'm a work-at-home mom to three, homeschool enthusiast, and avid planner fueled by lattes and Florida sunshine. My oldest is 6 and is a fircond grader (that's somewhere between first and second, naturally), my preschooler just told me she wants to learn how to read, and my toddler is a force of nature.

    I gather all kinds of secular homeschool resources and share them at TheHomeschoolResourceRoom.com.

  5. #14

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    Okay Kitty, Im gonna try making at least that panang base. It seems like a lot of work, but if it then makes a lot of panang dinners (just add coconut milk?), I can see it being feasible.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  6. #15

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    Woo hoo! I think Ive found a gateway curry.

    Kuku Paka Recipe (Kenyan chicken in coconut curry sauce) | Whats4eats

    And it ties in so well with African Civilization documentaries!

    It includes ginger, which is usually a bit of a PITA for me cuz its woody and hard to mince... but this you just throw in the blender when youre making the "pre-spice paste". (I used my stick blender sttachment.)

    No fish paste, no exotic specialty store ingredients.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  7. #16

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    Good to hear! It's on our menu list for Friday this week.

    I've printed a recipe for chapati to serve it over. Should be fun!
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward

    Daughter (22), a University of Iowa senior triple majoring in English with Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son (21), a Purdue University junior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  8. #17
    Senior Member Enlightened Artmama's Avatar
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    Two of the moms in our CSA started their own spice business and their stuff is AMAZING! It is all organic - Middle Eastern fare. Their website has recipes too! I used the chia confection blend making apple butter last fall and it was fantastic. The NYC halal cart chicken has become a go-to favorite in our house too. Spice Tree Organics

  9. #18

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    Fish sauce is really necessary to get the flavor you seek. It doesn't smell in your pantry at all! I keep a bottle as a staple. This is Thai, but I thought I'd share. It's super easy, accessible, and yummy. It's Vietnamese.
    A marinade for grilled pork:
    3 TBS vegetable oil
    3 TBS fish sauce
    3 TBS brown sugar
    2 TBS garlic
    lots of fresh ground pepper
    Marinade thin cut pork for 20 minutes then grill until cooked through; we like ours a teeny bit charred on the outer edges. Serve with kim chee (I know Korean but we like it), rice and salad.
    Kids are so much more than a test score.
    Qualities not measured by a test: creativity, persistence, curiosity, humor, self-discipline, empathy, humility and so many more!

  10. #19

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    I have an Indian friend--unfortunately, it's a 'he' and he said that men were never allowed in the kitchen growing up, so most of his food comes from packages and such. But I did learn that there is a finishing seasoning to vegetables that is common in Indian cuisine (he is from southern India): saute cumin and black mustard seeds in Ghee (or butter or oil), then add to your vegetables for the last couple of minutes. It really does make a difference!

    But that's all I got (well, that and I've been able to find garam masala at most stores--it's a cinnamon-pepper spice blend). I desperately need Indian cooking lessons. As for Thai, I make a Pad Thai that we like, but isn't really like what you get at a restaurant (I add in lots of vegetables like broccoli and carrots, but I always forget the bean sprouts).

  11. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexsmom View Post
    Woo hoo! I think Ive found a gateway curry.

    Kuku Paka Recipe (Kenyan chicken in coconut curry sauce) | Whats4eats

    And it ties in so well with African Civilization documentaries!

    It includes ginger, which is usually a bit of a PITA for me cuz its woody and hard to mince... but this you just throw in the blender when youre making the "pre-spice paste". (I used my stick blender sttachment.)

    No fish paste, no exotic specialty store ingredients.
    Alexsmom: Did you cut up/debone the chicken, or did you cook it still on the bone? Mine is already cut...didn't know if I should reduce the cooking time as a result.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward

    Daughter (22), a University of Iowa senior triple majoring in English with Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son (21), a Purdue University junior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

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Accessible Indian and Thai curry recipes