I love Thai curries. Spicy, fragrant, yum. Unfortunately, curries are always without a doubt high-fodmap and a no-go for us fructose malabsorbers. It mightn’t be obvious by looking at the dish itself, but hidden in the curry paste there’ll be the ‘fundamental’ additions of onion and garlic. When diagnosed with fructose malabsorption I was convinced I’d never be able to indulge in a curry again. Turns out, like most things, onion and garlic are definitely not fundamental to a perfectly satisfying curry. Thank goodness!I’m often asked what the most challenging thing about my diet is. Without a moment’s hesitation, I’m ranting about onion and garlic! Removing wheat has been pretty straight forward with the many substitutes and gluten free alternatives (especially in the lovely Melbourne). Removing lactose, likewise, has been pretty easy as there are so many alternatives and low-lactose dairy products. But removing damn onion and garlic is always the biggest challenge. It seems to creep into everything. Seriously, I can’t even tell you the amount of products and dishes that contain these two simple ingredients. Sauces, flavourings, marinades, dips, powders, you name it and it’s probably got some form of something oniony or garlicy in it.Previously, I cooked with heaps of both onion and garlic, and ditching them meant filling the void with something… anything! It took me awhile to get my head around the whole concept (like how to eat a steak sandwich without caramelised onion?) Well it’s not that hard, and it’s been all positive. I have since introduced SO many new and different flavours and ingredients into my cooking. I actually don’t miss onion or garlic at all – yep, this coming from a former roasted-garlic-smeared-on-bread kind of girl. I feel great and eat way more exciting foods. What more could I want!?
So even though being strict with onion or garlic is a hard feat, it does get easier, I promise. Yes, eating out can be a nightmare, and to be honest sometimes quite nerve-wracking, but it can also be an amazing experience. When you receive food that someone else has prepared that you can actually eat, you are that much more appreciative.
Having said that…….. you won’t find a fodmap-friendly curry. Sorry if I got your hopes up there! But don’t fret – I’m about to share with you one of my favourite curry recipes to make up for it.
Unless you’re willing to give up flavour-packed curry dishes forever, or you know of any superstar chefs willing to whip you up an onion-free paste while you sit and wait for your order at a restaurant, then get busy in the kitchen ;)
To me a curry has to have warmth, fragrance and a super special kick. This curry I’m sharing with you ticks all the boxes. The truth is, this recipe is similar to other curry paste recipes, just omits onion and garlic. You would think this would change everything. It doesn’t. The flavours of ginger, lemongrass and chilli are as prominent as ever in this dish, and just shows you how delicious life still is.
The paste can be frozen in ¼ cup serves and used for a couple of meals – bonus!
Low FODMAP Thai Red Fish Curry
Thai Red Curry Paste
Makes ~1/2 cup
6 dry red chillies (adjust amount according to heat)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
4cm piece of fresh ginger
2 x 10cm pieces of fresh lemongrass
2 tbsp fresh coriander roots and leaves, chopped
2 tsp shrimp paste
Kaffir lime leave
Thai Red Fish Curry
1/4 cup Thai red curry paste
600mL coconut milk
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 kaffir leaves
1 sweet potato
1 zucchini, sliced
150g green beans, sliced
800g Rockling fish fillets, cut in chunks
Crushed toasted peanuts
To make the paste: Soak dry red chillies in boiling water, cover for 15 minutes. Dry fry spices til fragrant, and place in food processor. Place all other ingredients in food processor, along with the drained chillies. Blend til a paste has formed. Store in a jar in the fridge for up to a week or freeze in ¼ cup serves.
To make the curry: Prepare ingredients and place rice on to cook. Chop vegetables and fish into evenly sized pieces, toast peanuts in a fry pan, and set aside. Heat a drizzle of oil in a heavy saucepan on medium-high heat. Fry curry paste for a minute, until fragrant. Add coconut milk, fish sauce and kaffir leaves, and bring to the boil. Add sweet potato and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Add zucchini and beans, simmering for another 10 minutes. Add fish, and continue simmering until fish is cooked, 5-10 minutes. Serve with rice, toasted peanuts and fresh coriander.