Recipe from The Blender Girl, by Tess Masters (reprinted with permission)
Makes 4 servings
For the curry paste:
3 large (20g) dried New Mexico or California red chile pods
1/4 cup (60g) raw almond or cashew butter
1 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (about 3 cloves)
2 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro root, or 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro stems
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots (about 2 shallots)
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon natural salt
For the curry:
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 1/2 cups (600ml) canned coconut milk (shake, then pour)
1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari or soy sauce
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
4 cups (570g) diced butternut squash, pumpkin, or orange-flesh sweet potato
12 ounces (340g) extra-firm tofu, cubed
1 bunch green chard, cut into ribbons or roughly chopped, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more to taste
1/2 cup (70g) raw or toasted cashews, to garnish
1/2 cup (14g) Thai or other basil (large leaves chopped; small leaves left whole), to garnish
1. To make the curry paste, toast the dried chiles by holding them with tongs directly over a low flame for 5 to 10 seconds, or over a hot electric burner for about 60 seconds, until they puff up and pop. Allow the chiles to cool, then chop them into small pieces, discarding the stems. Fill a bowl with 1/2 cup (120ml) of water, add the chiles (and their seeds), and soak for 10 to 15 minutes, until softened.
2. Pour the chiles and their liquid into your blender; add the almond butter, garlic, lemongrass, cilantro, shallots, ginger, spices, lime juice, and salt and blast on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until creamy. Store the paste in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use, or for up to 1 week.
3. To make the curry, heat the grapeseed oil briefly in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the curry paste and stir with a wooden spoon for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant and just bubbling.
4. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the coconut milk, tamari, and coconut sugar. Add the squash and cook, covered (but stirring occasionally), for 15 minutes.
5. Stir in the tofu and cook for 10 minutes more. Add the chard and stir gently until the greens are wilted and the squash is cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
6. Remove the pan from the heat and add the lime juice, plus more to taste. Serve garnished with the cashews and basil.