This warming rabbit curry, inspired by a northern Thai recipe, is light and brothy, tangy and very fragrant from the kaffir lime and dill. Curries in northern Thailand often include pla ra, a pungent type of fish sauce, but regular fish sauce makes a fine substitute.
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3 large lemongrass stalks, tender inner bulb only, minced
6 large shallots, thinly sliced
10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 Thai bird chiles, sliced
1/4 cup canola oil
One 2 1/2-pound rabbit, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup Asian fish sauce
8 cups water
One 1 1/4-pound butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
10 kaffir lime leaves, inner ribs removed and leaves very thinly sliced
6 scallions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup chopped dill
1/2 cup shredded basil or whole Thai basil leaves
Steamed rice, for serving
How to Make It
In a food processor, combine the lemongrass, shallots, garlic and chiles and process to a paste. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole or Dutch oven, heat the oil. Add the paste and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the rabbit, fish sauce and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat, partially covered, until the rabbit is tender, about 1 hour.
Transfer the rabbit to a plate and add the butternut squash to the casserole. Cook over moderate heat until the squash is tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. Return the rabbit to the pot and stir in the lime juice, lime leaves, scallions, dill and basil. Cook just until the rabbit is heated through. Serve with rice.
The rabbit curry can be refrigerated overnight.
This curry calls for a full-bodied white wine that won’t overpower the vibrant dish’s surprising lightness.
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