Friday, December 27, 2013

Kosher Thai Curry Paste

It turns out that Thai curry paste traditionally contains shrimp paste, so it's pretty much a no-go for us Yids. I looked but have not yet located any certified versions, and I have a pretty wide array of kosher products available to me at the many kosher stores here in Teaneck. The following is my own version, and it's spicy and mouthwateringly savory. It calls to mind all the Thai flavors (except basil, that goes in later as cooking finishes), and works well as a marinade, as a curry starter or as a sauce. A mortar and pestle or a spice grinder is ideal for mashing all the ingredients together, but that takes elbow grease; the small bowl attachment of a food processor works well also.


1/3 cup shallots, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 thumb-size piece of fresh ginger, peeled, small dice
3/4 tsp dried ground tumeric (or fresh, if you can find it!)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 inch piece of lemongrass stalk, small dice
1/2 to 3/4 tsp dried chili flakes (I used one small dried red chili)
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp ground bay leaves or 2 kefir lime leaves (optional -- one can also place a bay leave in the curry itself when cooking)
1-2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp brown sugar
1-2 tbsp soy sauce
2-4 tbsp coconut milk
1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)

Combine dry ingredients and mash. Add liquids sparingly and process until smooth. Use as a marinade or in recipes. Thai chicken curry recipe to follow.

Friday, December 6, 2013

An Urgent Request To Bring Shabbos in Ten Minutes Early Today

We don't usually write messages like this, but we want to share a personal story with you, and ask you to help us. 

Our close friend, a young mother of three children aged 3 and younger, is waiting at home for her husband, who has been in the hospital at Columbia Presbyterian since just before Rosh Hashanah. The youngest child, an infant, has essentially never been held by his father.  

A strong, energetic young man, a man of business who has given back to this community generously, Ted (Raphael Avraham ben Edis Itka) fell ill almost exactly a year ago and has been in and out of consciousness since then. He has been unable to play with or hold his children. His condition continues to plateau and worsen even as everyone he and his family knows are praying for his refuah shleima.  

Our friend, this morning, on the shortest Friday of the year, started by asking 20 friends if they would bring in Shabbos today ten minutes early, to either learn or spend time with their children in the zechus of Ted's refuah shleima. Her friends, in turn, wish for all the community to do this on behalf of this family that is so dear to us. 

Any extra time that you can spend doing this today would be valued and appreciated. We hope that this will be a way for us to bargain with Hashem to bring Ted back to his wife and children, and to us. 

If you can do any extra tehillim or learning this Shabbos, and are able to do it in the zechus of Raphael Avraham ben Edis Itka, it would be greatly, greatly appreciated. We pray that Hashem will hear this great cry and bring Ted back to us all. 

Please forward or share if you can. Good Shabbos, and thank you,