Coconut water is blended with coconut cream for a velvety, rich curry sauce. A modest amount of curry powder, along with Thai red curry paste (available in many supermarkets) and other top-quality aromatics, balances the dish. Fresh vegetables are added near the end, and cooked only until just tender.
1. Combine all of the Curry Broth ingredients in a large pot over medium heat. Once the broth starts to simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. Do not boil. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a large saucepan. Set aside. (The broth may be made ahead and refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)
Noodles, Tofu, and Vegetables
2. Put the potato in the Curry Broth and cook over medium heat, but do not boil, just until the pieces start to become tender when pierced with a fork. Add the tofu, mushrooms, onion, cauliflower, and carrots. Continue to cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas and cook for another 2 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt.
3. Divide the curry among warm bowls, then add the noodles to the bowls. Top with the cashews and cilantro before serving.
From Little, Brown and Company.
Darra Goldstein is editor in chief of The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, an 888-page reference guide to all things sweet. "The book is really a compendium of human desires, a cultural history of desire for things that are sweet and what it has caused in the world, in both the realm of pleasure and also of pain," she says.