De Arbol (Capsicum Annuum) means tree like in Spanish. The plant has thick, upright, woody stems and the chile itself is narrow, curved and bright red in color. Believed to be closely related to the pequin, the De Arbol is thin fleshed, with tannic, smoky, grassy flavor and searing heat. This chile has a heat range of 7.5 on the heat scale of 1-10. De Arbol Chiles are comparable to a Cayenne Pepper. Scoville heat units 15,000 to 30,000.
De Arbol is a hot chile and a staple in Southwest kitchens. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish. Be adventurous and add them to your next stew or chili along with the other spices. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish.
For the spice mix:
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 Tbsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp dried chiles
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger (or use a 1-inch piece fresh and add to garlic when cooking)
For the curry:
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1 garlic cloves, grated or minced
1 large onion, diced
1 stalk lemon grass, diced
1 Tbsp fish sauce
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
About 1 lb potatoes (preferably Yukon gold)
14 oz can coconut milk (shake well)
3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
14 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 head broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 lb white fish (snapper, sole, etc), diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
In a pestle or coffee grinder, grind the spices (and ground ginger if using) into a fine powder. Set aside.
In a heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the grapeseed oil, garlic, (fresh ginger if using), onion, lemon grass and fish sauce. Sauté on medium heat until the onions are translucent.
Add in the potatoes and carrots, sprinkle about half the spice mix in and continue to sauté for another 5-10 minutes. Add in coconut milk, stock and tomatoes. Taste your simmering liquid and adjust seasoning as needed. I added about 2/3 of my spice mix. Simmer for 10-15 minutes and reduce sauce by 1/3-1/2. Add broccoli, cauliflower and fish. Continue to simmer for 10-15 more minutes or until vegetables and fish are done to your liking.
Finish with minced cilantro and serve plain in bowls or over rice.