Spicy Curry Paste (Low Histamine + Nightshade Free)
One of my missed opportunities (regret seemed a little harsh, especially when you’re talking to your own self about not doing enough in the face of illness) over the last 7 years or so is not keeping a better catalog of all my attempts at re-creating restaurant dishes.
Part of it is as simple as keeping a blog, or a journal. Or not doing that, in my case. One of my 2019 goals is to step it up in that respect, so I’m starting in December to help create the habit. I’m happy to have my Instagram feed to scroll back through, with a lot of my early attempts. Those also come along with the terrible filters from the early IG days. I can see my first try at GF bread, Whole30, and eating vegetables for food, and not just a condiment to put on top of toast.
There’s another side to not keeping too close of track, and that’s probably more of a feeling of trying to find my own way with all of this. If your life hasn’t been touched by food in quite the same manner as mine, if you don’t prophylactically take supplements before and after eating out in a restaurant just in case you come in contact with gluten, then you might still call yourself a foody, and be done with it? Or in my husband’s case, a restaurant manager. In the recent years I’ve tried on lots of categories - gluten free, paleo, grain free, keto, AIP (short-lived), Whole30, low histamine. I’ll leave sober and alcohol free for another post, though I’m sure it’s all connected. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the labels come along with trying to find your footing, and then deciding where you want to play.
Where the diet labels served me well, they taught me a lot about cooking for myself and other people with allergen or food intolerance needs. If you’re Dairy Free, or Keto, I’ve got you. I’ve learned so much about food quality and using oils that aren’t highly processed and oxidized before you even get them home from the store. Ohh Hai canola. In my early gluten free days, I truly believed an enormous bowl of Cafe Gratitude quinoa or brown rice was necessary to survive on a GF diet.
Throughout my story with histamine intolerance, one of the dishes (cuisines?) I missed the most was Thai food. I just didn't feel comfortable eating a lot of the sauces - fermented fish, lots of lime juice, and the dried shrimp that make the cuisine so unique were not on my menu. By the time I’d figured out my triggers, I knew all of those ingredients would lead to a bad reaction. My home cooking Thai game will never match some of the restaurants I’ve visited, but recreating the flavors is satisfying and a nice departure from the usual.
Most store bought curry pastes contain one or more ingredients that can be challenging if you’re on a special diet, or, they’re just made to be super spicy. During histamine days, I was feeling nauseous pretty much 24/7, my stomach was super sensitive, and the thought of eating foods with the same heat level I was used to enjoying was totally unappealing.
Enter fresh food processor curry paste. This condiment is packed with anti-histamine, anti-inflammatory herbs, ginger, horseradish and turmeric. Some people might find the turmeric and / or horseradish a little too stimulating but as with anything low-hist, go slow and suss out where your tolerance level is. If turmeric is your friend, add 1 tablespoon of powder for an extra heat layer.
I make up this paste in the food processor then gently heat in coconut oil to mix in stir fries. You can use it to cover up a piece of fish or chicken to roast, or blend it with coconut milk for a more traditional soupy curry / broth method.
As with any low histamine recipe, if you see something below that makes you nervous, omit, or decrease the quantity.
Spicy Curry Paste
1/4 cup peeled and chopped fresh turmeric
1 - 2" piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1 - 2" piece horseradish, peeled and chopped
2 - 6” pieces lemongrass
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 packed cup basil leaves
1 bunch cilantro, with rough stems removed
1 bunch green onions, ends removed
1 tsp sea salt
Optional - 1 tblsp turmeric powder
Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Portion into silicon ice cube trays, drizzle with avocado oil and pat down into a cube. Use or freeze for up to 3 months.
For a creamy curry sauce, blend with coconut cream in Vitamix until smooth.