To quote: Chat Mingkwan, in Buddha’s Table: Thai Feasting Vegetarian Style-
“This dish is the most often cooked curry in the Thai household. If a home chef can’t decide which curry to prepare that would please all family members, he or she will end up making red curry. Its paste can be easily made with staple ingredients in the Thai pantry, such as dried chilies, garlic, shallots, and dried herbs and spices. The paste also pairs well with nearly all ingredients, especially any vegetables that grow near the house or those that have been left in the refrigerator.”
Thai is definitely my favorite after Italian (and of course Indian) cuisine. I still remember the first time I gave Thai cuisine a thought was when I was watching Priyanka Chopra's interview after she was was crowned Miss World and the whole Indian media went crazy after her... all TV channels were filled with her biography, interviews, childhood pictures, repeat telecasts of her crowning moment (which was actually 10,000 times lol) and then during one such interview someone asked her about her favorite food and she answered "Thai". I only tasted it after coming to the US and I am totally with Priyanka, at least on her choice of food... love it! Among the different Thai dishes, the vegetable red curry definitely tops the charts. The unique burst of flavors and the gorgeous color is so appealing that I order it over and over again whenever I am at any thai restaurant.
There was this Thai restaurant about a couple of miles from my place. They were famous for this curry. You would pick your own veggies from a buffet line and the chefs would make it right in front of you in large woks over ceiling high flames. As my luck would have it, they went out of business :( We were craving this curry for sometime now... my hubby challenged me if I could make my own version... I of course accepted it. With a little assistance from my friend and guide *google* and my own memory of the taste of that curry, I tried making it with whatever ingredients I had that time and made it the same night for dinner. Hubby dear was bowled over. We enjoyed it with some Thai sticky rice and had Thai sticky rice with mango for dessert!! Now, I can proudly add the world famous Thai red curry to my resume :) Thai cooking is fast, super easy and absolutely heavenly... if you have the paste ready. As I said before, in this version, I used the ingredients that were handy so I have substituted some of the classic thai ingredients (see notes for details).