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Purple Curry


Last week, I posted a snide remark on a post on Macheesmo's site claiming that I could make a curry any color of the rainbow. I mean, I have made red, green, and yellow, massaman is sort of orange and panang has a pinkish hue. What's left? I got this email from Nick 3 minutes later: "Can you make a purple curry?! Because I think you should." He called my bluff! I replied back with:"hmmm, should I use cabbage or blueberries" "I'd go blueberries" was his reply. At first I shrugged this off as a casual joke amongst friends, but it's like Leo says, once an idea has taken hold of the brain it's almost impossible to eradicate. It was all I could think about all week! Tuesday I hit the farmers market on my way back from work, because it was the only place I knew that I could find purple basil...

The purple stuff. Why arent they called purpleberries?

Cabbage for in the curry paste.

The paste ingredients are below.

Frying the paste.

The purple against the red beef is a cool contrast.

Coconut milk to bring everything together.

Blueberries add the tang that limes give to green curry. I was really unsure about this but they actually made the dish! I should have added a few more. Also, why does this picture remind me of pancakes?

So pretty, and delicious!

I'm glad to eat leftovers at work today.

The idea was that this curry should be similar to a massaman, with a little green curry influence. I think I achieved that goal, and it was really tasty, but at the same time, it had a lot of potential to be much better. I was kind of rushing it and also am not fully used to my new kitchen setup. What I am saying here is that the meal was good, but if I followed the same recipe paying a little more attention to technique and taking my time, the meal would have been great.

Paste was approx:

2 inches of ginger
8 cloves garlic
10 to 15 thai chiles, seeds removed
2 tablespoons cumin seed
2 tablespoons coriander seed
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 stalks lemongrass, prepped like this
1 bunch purple basil, stalks and leaves, save some leaves for garnish
1 small purple onion
1/4 of a large head of purple cabbage
Zest and juice from half a lime
Fish sauce

Blend up the paste, prep your other ingrendients. I used purple potato, eggplant, blueberries and beef. I thin sliced some sirloin tip against the grain, salted it, sprinkled a little palm sugar, and a few splashes of fish sauce, and let it sit out for 30 minutes before cooking. I cooked the paste for 5 minutes until it was smelling really nice, then added the beef. Next I added the potatoes, followed by 2 cans of coconut milk. This simmered about 15 minutes before I added the eggplant and blueberries, and 15 more until the potatoes were tender. I added some more palm sugar, salt, and fish sauce to taste. Serve with jasmine rice and garnish with more purple basil and some cilantro.

The only thing I might try next time would be to marinade the beef in the paste for an hour or so, then just dump it all into the pan.

Hope you guys enjoy the long weekend! I will be back Tuesday, rested, refreshed, and all moved in.


I once made a purplish curry with pomegranates. I can't remember what else was in it but it was tasty. The seeds add an interesting crunch to the dish.

This is why it reminds you of pancakes...

yea, more blueberries... Either way, this was tasty and looks beautiful with the green and purple. Make it for Mardi Gras!

You could make a blue one, too - if you cook red (or purple, if you like) cabbage with a little vinegar, it goes dark blue. You could maybe parboil it first.

Where was this idea when I had all those blueberries?

This looks really good, I'm always interested about mixing traditionally sweet ingredients, like fruit, in savoury dishes.

My dad once made a Barbie pink curry....but it wasn't on purpose. It was tasty, though.

stumbled upon your blog today. love it.

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