I saw an episode of Next Iron Chef: The Redemption recently where one of the contestants had to make a main dish using banana as the challenge ingredient. The chef, to everyone's surprise, made a banana curry dish that turned out really well and kept him on the show for at least one more episode. I've been inspired to make one ever since, but I decided to wait until after Thanksgiving to make something completely different once I'd had enough of Thanksgiving food. Today, with all the Thanksgiving leftovers gone, I decided to see if I could figure it out without consulting any recipes online. (Actually, I already had but didn't like how any of them sounded.) I managed to pleasantly surprise myself!
1 ripe banana, cut into chunks
1/2 large bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
8 oz. coconut milk
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp sriracha
2 tbsp canola oil
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
1 tbsp yellow curry paste (I like the Sun Luck brand)
2 green bell peppers, sliced lengthwise
1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
2 lemongrass stalks
4 Thai bird chiles, crushed
1/2 cup raw cashews
Place first five ingredients in a food processor and blend until thoroughly combined and no banana chunks remain. Set aside.
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots and curry paste and saute for 3 minutes. Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup water as needed to keep curry paste from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add peppers and onion and saute until vegetables are tender, another 3-5 minutes. Pour banana mixture into saucepan. Add cashews, stir well and continue stirring until sauce begins to thicken, another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve over rice or rice noodles. (I served it over black heirloom rice, available at Rosewood Market and Whole Foods.)