Sunday, 12 August 2012

What to do when you win a coconut

First of all, I'm sorry for being a bit MIA recently. Life is mad, especially since I got a job at my local fruit and veg shop (yay vegetables), but I will make it up to you. Starting with this.

Because at the Royal Holloway Summer Ball this year, I won a coconut on the coconut shy. Here is a picture of me with my coconut.

Zosia would like to add here that she really reallllly was very very excited.

I named him Tarzan. I was very very excited and full of ideas of what to do with it... but a month later it was still sitting on my shelf, though at home now as we'd left uni. And then my sister suggested I used it to make some sort of Thai curry. AN IDEA WAS BORN. And my coconut became this:

Which was pretty darn good really.

What you need for a Bryony-style Thai green curry:
- 1 coconut
- 8 spring onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- half a red pepper
- half an aubergine (a whole one would be fine)
- a thumb-size piece of ginger
- 2 chillies (I used 1 red and 1 green, but it's up to you)
- 6-8 new potatoes
- handful green beans
- handful mange tout
- 1 1/2 tsp soya sauce
- 1 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
- 350ml water with half a knorr stock pot or 1 oxo cube
- zest and juice of 1 lime
- fresh coriander
- jasmine or sticky rice, to serve

And the SECRET ingredient (less secret now I put it on the internet in capital letters) is a 'Thai Taste: Easy Thai Green Curry Kit'. Which sounds like a massive cheat, but actually it isn't and is also the best money-saver ever. It includes coconut milk, Thai green curry paste and herbs - which, if you bought them seperately, would come to about £5-6, and I think this was £2ish. So no complaints.

It's quite a lot of ingredients, but I promise nothing is lost and it's totally worth it. This amount served three, but it would be a good one for bulking up and cooking en-masse, too - especially if you get people to pitch in for cost.

1. Start by getting into your coconut. We used a hammer and chisel, but the internet is full of suggestions. Once you're in, cut the fleshy bits into small, thin pieces and dry-fry them in a wok or frying pan until they're toasted. This alone is amazingly nice. Put the coconut water aside, and put the toasted coconut pieces in a bowl to cool down. Meanwhile, put your new potatoes on to boil for about 15 minutes.

2. In the now-empty wok heat up some oil, and then add the spring onions, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry these for a couple of minutes, and then add the aubergine, followed shortly by the green beans.

3. Once the vegetables are starting to colour and the aubergine is beginning to shrink, add the pepper, chillis and Thai herbs. Stir-fry all this for another 5 minutes or so, before adding in the boiled new potatoes (chopped), the curry paste and most of the toasted coconut. Cook for another few minutes.

4. Next, add the mange tout, the coconut water (the stuff that was inside your coconut), the coconut milk, the water and the stock pot/cube. It should be beginning to look more like a curry. Turn up the heat slightly and stir, and add in the sugar and soya sauce. Now is also a good time to put your rice on to cook, though it depends what sort of rice you're using.

5. After 15 minutes or so, your liquid should have reduced by about half, and should now be thicker and more sauce-like (although it isn't a particularly thick sauce, so don't worry). When you're happy with the consistency, add in most of your fresh coriander, the lime juice and most of the zest. Cook for another couple of minutes and then try the sauce and adjust whatever you need (if you need to) until you're happy with it. 

Serve with the rice, and the rest of the coconut, coriander and lime zest. You won't be disappointed.

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