August 7, 2015

Lemon Balm Thai Style Green Curry

Have you heard of Lemon Balm before? No, it is not a balm that you apply on your forehead :-). I have not heard of it either, that is until my friend gave me a big bag full of lemon balm leaves from her garden as it was growing like crazy. She teased me to make a good recipe out of it so that she can also use them. So I decided to give it a try, it is always interesting to try new things with new ingredients, especially if they are fresh and local. 

So what is lemon balm? It is a perennial herb from the mint family with a lemony aroma. You can think of it as a mix between mint and lemon grass. It is used for a variety of home medications. As per WebMD, Lemon balm is used for digestive problems, including upset stomachbloating, intestinal gas (flatulence), vomiting, and colic; for pain, including menstrual cramps, headache and toothache; and for mental disorders, including hysteria and melancholia. Many people believe lemon balm has calming effects so they take it for anxietysleep problems, and restlessness. Lemon balm is also used for Alzheimer's disease, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an autoimmune disease involving the thyroid (Graves' disease), swollen airways, rapid heartbeat due to nervousness, high blood pressure, sores, tumors, and insect bitesLemon balm is inhaled as aromatherapy for Alzheimer's diseaseSome people apply lemon balm to their skin to treat cold sores.

Here, it has found it's way into a Thai style green curry loaded with lots of farm fresh summer vegetables. Because of the lemongrass flavor, it was a perfect fit for a Thai curry. We love Thai curries and when you can get local and fresh ingredients in abundance, it is definitely worth a try. 

For green curry paste:
  • Lemon balm leaves - 1 cup (loosely packed)
  • Coriander seeds - 1 Tbs
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Garlic - 4  cloves
  • Fresh ginger - 1 inch long
  • Coriander leaves whole - 2-3 stems
  • Homemade coconut milk - 1/4 cup (just enough to help grinding the paste)
  • Sea salt - as per taste 
For green curry:
  • Homemade coconut milk- 2 cups (recipe here)
  • Mixed vegetables - 3 cups (see notes) 
  • Lemon balm leaves - a handful 
  • Sea salt - as per taste 
Directions:
  • To make the green paste, add all ingredients to a blender and process to get a fine paste.
  • Wash and slice the vegetables, mix with the green paste and set aside for about 30 minutes.
  • Add the vegetables along with the green curry paste and lemon balm leaves to a soup pot or any heavy bottom cooking pan. Start cooking on medium heat. 
  • Cook covered for about 10-12 minutes or till vegetables are nice and soft. 
  • Add coconut milk and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Adjust salt and switch off.
  • Serve warm with a small serving of rice.
  • Enjoy!


Notes: 
For vegetables, you can use mushrooms, snap peas, sugar peas, green peas, carrots, long beans, french beans, or anything else you can think of.
Quicknhealthy does not recommend using canned coconut milk. But if you have to use canned version, be sure to find a good brand with only coconut milk as the ingredient and make sure it is BPA-free. Also please be aware that the consistency will be thicker. Use your judgement and adjust the quantity accordingly.



3 comments:

  1. Hey there! I tried out a very similar curry recently and it turned out just beautiful. Thank you so much for this recipe!

    Here's the link to my post: https://thegalnxtdoor.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/thai-vegetarian-green-curry-with-lemon-balm-no-oil-recipe/

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    Replies
    1. Hi GalNxtDoor :-),
      Thanks for stopping by and for the feedback. I will definitely checkout your version soon.

      Delete
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