Autumn Panang Vegetable Curry

This delicious version of Panang Vegetable Curry highlights the bounty of fall’s produce, with delicious buttercup squash, cauliflower and carrots. I think adding the firm tofu is optional, but if someone didn’t care for tofu, you could easily just add an additional vegetable such as eggplant or zucchini. I served this hearty, perfectly spicy curry over jasmine rice and spinach.You can easily substitute store bought panang curry paste.

Panang Vegetable Curry
by Bon Appetit

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Panang Curry Paste (see below)
2 tablespoons chopped peeled ginger
2 1/3 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk, divided
1 1/2 cups (or more) vegetable stock
8 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves
2 dried chiles de árbol
1 4-lb. kabocha squash, cut into 8 wedges, seeded, or 2 acorn squash, quartered, seeded (I used buttercup squash)
1 small head of cauliflower (about 1 1/2 lb.), cored, broken into 1″–2″ florets
1 pound carrots, peeled, cut on a diagonal into 1/2″ slices
2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2″ squares
1/4 cup liquid tamarind concentrate or 2 Tbsp. tamarind paste mixed with 2 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided
2 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 12-oz. package firm tofu, drained, patted dry, cut into 1″ cubes
Kosher salt
1/4 cup cup chopped peanuts
Steamed jasmine rice

Heat oil in a large heavy wide pot over medium heat. Add shallots, Panang Curry Paste, and ginger; stir until shallots begin to soften, 2–3 minutes. Add 1/3 cup coconut milk; stir until browned, about 4 minutes. Add remaining 2 cups coconut milk, 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock, lime leaves, and chiles; stir to blend, scraping up browned bits.

Add kabocha squash to pot, set on sides so all pieces fit in a single layer. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until squash is almost tender, 15–20 minutes. Remove squash from pot; stir in cauliflower, carrots, and peppers. Return squash to pot, placing on top of vegetables; cook until all vegetables are tender, 10–15 minutes. Transfer squash to a plate.

Stir tamarind concentrate, half of basil, fish sauce, and lime juice into pot; add tofu. Cover and simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes, adding more stock if too thick. Season to taste with salt.

Divide curry among bowls; top each with 1 wedge of squash; sprinkle remaining basil and peanuts over. Serve curry with steamed jasmine rice.

Panang Curry Paste
by Bon Appetit

2 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed
2 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed
2 fresh lemongrass stalks, bottom 4″ only, tough outer layer discarded, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh (or frozen, thawed) galangal
6 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 fresh serrano chiles, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place dried chiles in a medium bowl; cover with hot water and soak for 15 minutes. Drain; place chiles and all remaining ingredients in a mini-processor; process until paste forms. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 months ahead. Store airtight in freezer.

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