I cooked this dish on March 25, 2011. That’s what the EXIF data of the unedited photos say. My husband had retired by then and the girls were away in college. So, the yield — it’s good for three people — means the people who enjoyed this lovely curry were myself, my husband and the helper.
How can I remember the ingredients and the cooking procedure if the dish was cooked over twelve years ago? I’m not publishing the recipe for the first time. All the recipes in the old blog were saved and I’ve kept them in a file. You know, in case I want to republish them — ideally with new and better photos. This recipe does not need new photos though. I’m happy with the ones I took in 2011.
While the old photos are retained, the name of the dish has been modified. When the recipe was first published, I called it ground meat and vegetable curry. That’s because the ground pork can easily be replaced by ground beef, chicken or even lamb, and I wanted the title to reflect the versatility of the recipe. But since I used ground pork, I want the name of the dish to be more accurate this time.
Start by heating oil and throwing in diced onion. Cook just until softened a bit. Then add lemongrass, chilies, ginger, garlic and kaffir lime leaf, and continue sauteeing until the aroma is sending signals to your brain that you are very, very hungry.
Stir in ground pork, breaking up lumps, season with fish sauce then add your curry powder. Cook with plenty of stirring until the meat is lightly browned.
Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to liquefy. Tomatoes in a curry dish? Yes, trust me. Tomato is tart, coconut cream is naturally sweet, so by the time the dish is done, the tartness and the sweetness have blended quite beautifully.
Now, the vegetables. Add chayote and carrot (they take longer to cook than squash so add the squash later) then pour in a cup of water. The vegetables need liquid to cook in, after all.
When the chayote and carrot are half-cooked, add squash. Simmer until the squash is soft but not mushy. Pour in coconut cream, allow to boil shortly then give the curry a final taste. If needed, stir in more fish sauce before serving.
Ground pork and vegetable curry
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 to 4 Thai chilies (or substitute finger chilies), chopped or thinly sliced
- 2 stalks lemongrass (lower portion of the stalks only) thinly sliced
- 1 pair kaffir lime leaves
- thumb-sized piece ginger peeled and sliced thinly
- 200 grams ground pork (or ground beef, chicken, turkey or lamb)
- fish sauce to taste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons curry powder
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 1 chayote peeled, cored and cut into half-inch cubes
- 1 large carrot peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
- ¼ squash skin cut off, seeds scraped off and the flesh cut into half-inch cubes
- 1 to 1 ½ cups coconut cream
- Heat the vegetable oil in a pan. Add the chopped onion and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add the lemongrass, chilies, ginger, garlic and kaffir lime leaf.
- Cook for a few minutes, stirring often, until fragrant.
- Add the ground pork, drizzle in a tablespoon of fish sauce, and cook, stirring, to break up any lumps. Cook until the pork is no longer pink.
- Throw in the curry powder. Cook until the meat starts to brown a little.
- Add the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes start to soften a little.
- Add the chayote and carrot cubes.
- Pour in a cup of water and another tablespoon of fish sauce.
- Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for five minutes.
- Add the squash. Stir.
- Bring to the boil once more and simmer for another five minutes.
- Turn up the heat. Pour in the coconut cream. Stir. Let boil for about thirty seconds then turn off the heat. Add more fish sauce, if needed.