One of the first Thai dishes the boyfriend made for me was curry. It was pretty early on in our relationship and I was stuck at work really late one night. He made a huge pot of delicious yellow curry with chicken and potatoes and left it for me in the refrigerator with a sweet note on the door saying that dinner was ready.
I fell in love with yellow curry after the boyfriend made it for me that night. It’s flavorful without being too spicy, rich but not overpoweringly so, and filled with things like chicken and potatoes that are fully recognizable to my Western palate. It’s really a great starting place if you’re new to Thai food.
However, once you’ve grown accustomed to the flavors of yellow curry, you’d be remiss if you didn’t branch out to try some of the other Thai curries including the red and green varieties. They are spicier, yes, but also much more flavorful and fragrant than yellow curry is. This is because they’re typically cooked with kaffir lime leaves and Thai basil in addition to the spices in the curry paste itself. These herbs provide a wonderfully fragrant flavor that really elevates the curry beyond a simple paste of spices cooked in a creamy coconut sauce.
I found myself craving just such a curry recently, so I set out to make a red curry with pumpkin. If you’ve been following along recently, you’ll know that I haven’t been able to get enough pumpkin of late (see Thai-style sukiyaki, suki dry noodles, a seasonal rendition of coconut milk soup, and a whole pumpkin custard). And pumpkin actually works really well in this red curry, giving it a subtle sweetness that complements its inherent spiciness and the fragrance of the lime leaves and basil really well.
So while yellow curry will always be dear to my heart, my mouth yearns for the spice and fragrance of this red curry and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Give it a try and see for yourself!