Taro is a starch used by nations all around the world, and in a lot of different ways. Having started with a Trinidad inspired dish involving coconut, it was only fitting to head to Asia, strongly believed to be the traditional home of the taro root, and create an entirely different dish that also uses taro and coconut milk.
Most people who like to make curry have a pre-made jar of curry powder in their cupboard. Even with around 125 different herbs and spices, (including a small percentage of blends,) you will not find ‘curry powder’ in my cupboard. The reason for this is that I prefer to control the specific flavors of a dish. For instance, I am most often cooking a meal that my son will be eating, and he doesn’t like much of any spicy heat. This dish, in fact, was taken nearly directly from a sweet coconut curry I created just for us. I simply added the taro and yams; nixing the need for rice. (Though Nathan still likes it on the side.)
The reason I use coconut powder is to, once again, control the amount of flavor I can add to a dish. By adding the powder to milk and chicken broth I can get a much more flavorful sauce. I also find that coconut powder can be a lot cheaper than canned coconut milk, is useful for many other applications, stores well, and can still completely replace a can of coconut milk when you need it too.
As for spice, this was written as a very mild recipe. All you simply need to do is add a few of your favorite fresh or ground chilies, and you are on your way to the level of sweat induction of your choosing. You can also add pulled or cubed chicken if you feel the need for a little more protein.
Taro, Yam/Potato, and Paneer Sweet Coconut Curry
By: Semiserious Chefs
- 2 cups taro; peeled
- 2 cups African/Asian yam or regular potato
- 10 oz paneer cheese
- 4 T butter or ghee
- 4 oz coconut cream powder
- 2 cup chicken broth (or vegetable)
- 2 cup milk
- 1/2 t vegetable broth powder*
- 1/4 t turmeric
- 1 t ground coriander
- 1/2 t ground pepper
- 8 larger garlic cloves; minced
- 2 inch ‘thumb’ of ginger; minced or grated
- 1 stock green onions; chopped
- 2 cups green or pigeon peas
- cooked lentils are also a good option
- salt to taste
*You can usually find this with the bulk herbs in the health food department.
- Peel and cut the roots vegetables and cheese into small cubes approximately the same size. Fry these in the butter or ghee over medium heat, stirring regularly, until everything is golden and the taro, in particular, is cooked through; 10-15 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
- Serve with a side of steam rice, as desired.