The thing about cooking with fresh ingredients is how the preparation time seems to be just as long the actual cooking time, if not longer. Take this ground pork and vegetable curry dish — peeling, trimming and cutting the vegetables took fifteen minutes; the actual cooking time was likewise fifteen minutes. In the end though, the seemingly tedious job of prepping the vegetables is all worth it because there is a huge difference between fresh vegetables and vegetables that came out of a can.
Just like the shrimp curry, this is Thai-style curry as it was cooked with coconut cream rather than with yogurt which South Asian curries favor. If you’d like to turn it into a meatless dish, just omit the ground pork.
15-minute ground pork and vegetable curry
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 to 4 Thai chilies (or substitute finger chilies), chopped
- 2 stalks lemongrass thinly sliced (see tips)
- 1 pair kaffir lime leaves
- thumb-sized piece ginger sliced thinly
- 200 grams ground pork (or ground beef, chicken, turkey or lamb)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons curry powder
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 1 cup bone broth
- 1 chayote peeled, cored and cut into half-inch cubes
- 1 large carrot peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
- 1/4 squash skin cut off, seeds scraped off and the flesh cut into half-inch cubes
- 1 to 1-1/2 coconut cream
- patis (fish sauce) to taste
- 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, stirring to break up the meat. 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 the meat broth. Season with fish sauce. Stir.
- 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.
- Serving suggestion: place some rice in a shallow bowl. Top with the ground pork and vegetable curry. Spoon some sauce over the curry and rice.