An Attempt at Lotus Root Curry…

June 18th, 2008

My boyfriend, J, and I are major dorks. Yes, I admitted it! When he suggested the idea of reading a book together this summer…I was quite excited! When was the last time you read a book and discussed it with someone? After much deliberation, we finally decided upon Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie.

Yesterday, J emailed me this passage….

“his wife grew lotus-roots and other curious vegetables on one of the
many ‘floating gardens’ lilting on the surface of the spring and summer
water” (9)

followed by a few links to recipes…

As a cook, you can imagine my reaction…yep, he’s a keeper…so we decided upon a lotus root curry…

The recipe we used was from Chachi’s Kitchen for Coconutty Lotus Root Curry. Unfortunately, the store was out of lotus root so we had to resort to frozen lotus root. There were also no kaffir lime leaves or Thai basil. We added some fresh basil that we had in the fridge. I know it really doesn’t work but we were trying.

For our first attempt at curry, it wasn’t exactly a disaster. J dubbed it “Ginny’s Neon Beige Curry” because it glowed hot while still being bland. I would love to have some advice on how to best make curry because I am very interested in learning to cook out of my comfort zone.

Coconutty Lotus Root Curry
(original recipe from Chachi’s Kitchen)

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion; sliced into rings
2 tbsp green curry paste (according to taste; available in Asian stores)
400ml/14fl oz can coconut milk
400gm lotus root, frozen
3 potatoes; washed and sliced into ½ inch rounds
½ cup basil leaves chopped
1 teaspoon of coriander, ground
1 lime; juiced

1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the onions until golden brown, add the green curry paste over a fairly high heat for about a minute,
Reduce the heat slightly and add the thick part of the coconut milk from the tin, stir for a few minutes, add the rest of the coconut milk.

2. Add the lotus root and the coconut milk, bring to a simmer, cook for 15 minutes, add the potatoes, cook a further 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked and the sauce is thickened. Stir in the basil, coriander and lime juice.

Let it stand for 15 minutes, serve with rice.

P.S. Thank you MK for the beautiful platter! I love it!

12 Responses to “An Attempt at Lotus Root Curry…”

  1. VeggieGirl on June 18, 2008 4:58 pm

    “Midnight’s Children” sounds like an intriguing book; and hey, that curry sounds great to me!! I’m sure that you’ll perfect it next time, for sure :0)

  2. Manggy on June 18, 2008 8:22 pm

    Sorry it didn’t work out, Ginny. I probably won’t be able to help you (ah, what’s the use of being Asian, haha) as I don’t even know what lotus root’s supposed to taste like! (Quite uncommon in markets here and I never think to look for it.) Maybe the key are those missing ingredients, and salt.

  3. LyB on June 19, 2008 5:52 am

    I’ve never had lotus root, I imagine it to be crunchy in texture. Is it? I couldn’t help you make a curry if my life depended on it, it’s on my “to try” list though! ;)

  4. Elle on June 19, 2008 10:53 am

    I love your boyfriend! That is so sweet!

    I wish I could be of more help with the curry, but it’s not something I’ve made a lot of. Sorry!

  5. Laura on June 19, 2008 11:50 am

    I’ve always wanted to use lotus root after I saw it on an episode of Top Chef…the shape is so fun!

    This looks great.

  6. Kevin on June 19, 2008 5:06 pm

    Lotus root curry sounds interesting. I have been wanting to try lotus root for a long time. I will have to look harder.

  7. StickyGooeyCreamyChewy on June 19, 2008 7:11 pm

    I’m impressed! I’ve never attempted lotus root before. I’ve made a lot of Thai curries (just made one a few nights ago)and I use pretty much the same ingredients you did. I use red curry paste the most. I get mine for 89 cents a can at the Asian store, but it’s the best. I do add some fish sauce, lime leaves and lemongrass to my curries. The fish sauce really deepens the flavors. I love it!

  8. Lore on June 22, 2008 9:51 am

    I’ve never cooked lotus root nor curry and posts like yours make me realise I’m missing so much stuff, good stuff. Keep us posted!

  9. Marc @ NoRecipes on June 23, 2008 8:03 pm

    Ooo cool idea, we use lotus roots in japanese food, but it’s used very differently. My thoughts on the curry, try adding some garlic and ginger to the after you’ve browned the onions but before you’ve added the curry paste and saute till fragrant. I’d also add some fish sauce, it’s less fishy in food than it smells in the bottle and small amounts add a ton of flavor.

  10. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) on June 24, 2008 11:41 am

    Lotus root wouldn’t be my first choice for a curry — so don’t give up on curries. There are so many good books out there, especially those by Madhur Jaffrey. Try something more familiar, like a chicken curry, and concentrate on making your own masala. You’ll have a wonderful time exploring these dishes.

  11. Zen Chef on June 25, 2008 8:26 pm

    I think the only thing this dish is missing is pork! hehe
    I would have never thought of making curry with lotus roots. I love them in chinese dishes or thinly sliced and deep-fried to make lotus chips. Their shape is so fun!

    You should look for Thai curry recipes and experiment a bit, i love Thai curries. Yum! :-)

  12. Ginny on June 29, 2008 7:31 pm

    veggiegirl- It is an excellent book! I’m addicted to it!

    manggy- haha! really? Thats like me being Italian but unable to make a good pasta sauce! haha! I forgive you! Lotus root has a similar crunch and texture to water chestnut…thats how I would describe it!

    lyb- very crunchy! Now that I have a tub of green curry, I am going to try my best to perfect it! I’ll keep you posted!

    Elle- Isn’t he great? I’m keeping him. thanks! :)

    Laura- thank you! The shape is quite beautiful!

    Kevin- we have some great asian stores around here…it is an interesting vegetable to play with!

    susan- thanks for the advice!

    lore- will do! thank you!

    marc- how do you use lotus root? I would be interested in learning. thanks for the advice!

    lydia- thank you! curries are just so amazing!

    zen- agreed! definitely probably not the best choice for our first lotus root or curry attempt…entertaining though!

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