Thai food feels like a perfect marriage of flavors to me. Creamy coconut milk, fiery hot peppers, spicy ginger. Curries over rice. Sweet and salty noodle dishes. Influenced by Indian and other Asian cuisines and, like the best Mexican foods, topped with a flourish of cilantro. Pad Thai, Tom Yum Soup, Thai Basil Fried Rice. Served on platters and in hot pots to share.
That’s why it’s so hard for me to accept that in my soon-to-be-marriage, there’s a major disagreement about the absolute best dish to order at a Thai restaurant. If you ask me, there’s just no question that it’s Yellow Curry. Potatoes, carrots, onion, chicken, maybe tofu. Simmered in a golden, creamy curry sauce. Served over rice. Heaven.
At my day job, my lovely boss and I often order it from a spot down the street, always at a heat level of 4. But I can’t get my handsome future husband to share it with me.
Maybe someday I’ll convince him yellow curry is ridiculously tasty. But in the meantime, I was inspired to create this riff on my Thai favorite.
Sweet potatoes. Chopped and roasting.
Nutty Quinoa, simmering in chicken stock.
Shallots, ginger and garlic sweating in coconut oil.
Kale, curry powder and coconut milk.
Quinoa Yellow Curry
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 tsp coconut oil
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 inch chunk of ginger, grated with a microplane
4 cups kale, rib removed and torn into 2 inch pieces
13.5 ounces coconut milk
2 tsp hot curry powder
handful of roasted cashews, chopped
cilantro, for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the sweet potato chunks with olive oil to coat and season with salt and pepper. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast until tender and browned, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir quinoa and stock together in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic and ginger. Adjust heat to keep from browning/burning. Sweat for about 2 minutes, until shallot is translucent. Add kale to the skillet and toss with shallot mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Saute kale for about two more minutes, until wilting. Pour coconut milk into the skillet and add curry powder to the mixture. Stir gently to combine all ingredients and evenly distribute the curry powder. Cook until warmed through and thickened, about five minutes.
To assemble the dish, divide the quinoa between two bowls. Add half the sweet potato to each bowl. Top with kale and curry sauce. Garnish with cashews and cilantro. Add more salt and pepper, if desired.