I have been asked if we can cook thai curries with other ingredients than coconut milk. I therefore have tried to cook them with different ways. Here are the results.
1. Coconut Milk - Popular ingredients which people normally use to cook thai curries. The result is always good as long as you choose the best choice of coconut milk. The good quality ones contain 80-90% of coconut milk and approximately 10% of water.
2. Coconut Cream - it is the thick part of whole coconut milk. Basically when making coconut milk, the first set is normally coming out as thicker than the second and third if possible. They normally keep the first set as coconut cream. Once I put coconut cream with curry, the curry becomes thick quicker and using normal coconut milk. The
flavour is very similar to the ones that cook with coconut milk. However if you prefer the thicker texture on your curry, coconut cream is one of the best choice you can consider.
3. Coconut powder - I mix them with warm water
and then boil them with thai curry paste. It is lighter
but yet delicious. If you prefer a bit lighter curry,
it is good idea to use coconut powder as well.
Keep in mind that if you use the good quality ones,
the result will always come out good.
4.Yogurt - It actually could be used with our curry paste. The different from using yogurt instead of coconut milk is the colour and taste. The colour is darker and taste has a mixture of spiciness, sweet and a little bit sour. I would say that you can use them with some of curry paste such as Massaman curry paste, Chiangmai curry paste or Red curry paste. Actually, it could be a bit adventurous by using yogurt that mix with honey.
5. Single Cream- I have been asked many times if single cream could be used. The answer is a YES. It is thick and more creamy than using coconut milk. The spiciness has gone down a little bit once using single cream. The taste is still good with a bit of creamy texture if you prefer.
You can also cook them with milk as well, but it will give you a very light curry. It is good for someone who prefer very light and quicker meal than usual.
I also tried R&G thai curry paste with some other brand which is much cheaper and the result is not the same as the above. The curry doesn't come out thick and it completely changes the taste.
In summary, thai curry could be cooked with different ingredients if you are missing coconut milk in your cupboard or using some of ingredients that you already have in your cupboard, or you would like to try something new.
Please make sure you use the right and good quality brand before making authentic thai curry. With a bit of palm sugar and brown sugar into your curry would also make a round taste and uplift your thai curry taste to another level. Enjoy Thai Curry..