One of my favorite dishes of all time is the Panang mole curry from Nitally’s, a Thai-Mex fusion restaurant in St. Pete, FL. It has the sweetness of coconut and chocolate mixed with the heat of the Panang red curry and ancho chile. If you like currys, you’ll love this Nitally’s copycat recipe.
Thai Mex Fusion
Before Tom and I decided to have kids we loved to go out to eat. We still do, it just isn’t as much fun anymore with 3 kids, not to mention that I don’t even have energy for date nights. We bought our previous house in St. Pete solely because it was within walking distance to our favorite restaurants in the city. Walking to Nitally’s was one of our favorite date nights.
After we moved away from St. Pete, I made it my mission to figure out a copycat recipe for the Panang Mole curry. First I learned out to make a Thai curry, then I learned how to make a mole sauce. Once I got the hang of the two, I combined them to make this amazing Thai-Mex fusion curry. While this isn’t an exact replication of their dish, it is the closest I’ve had at home and I’m now in love with this panang curry mole sauce.
Panang Mole Sauce Recipe | Nitally’s Copycat
This recipe follows the general recipe for a mole sauce from Martha Stewart with Panang curry subbed for the tomatoes and onions. Add the mole to a can of coconut milk and served it over your choice of vegetables and protein. The sauce is so good that it would be great served over anything. This is a great way to use up some leftover veggies!
I’ve found that it is worth going the extra step to get your curry paste and coconut milk from an Asian market instead of your standard grocery store. Not only are the ingredients a bit cheaper at the Asian grocery stores, they make a world of difference in the flavor. Plus, it’s pretty difficult to find Panang curry in a standard grocery store. If you don’t have an Asian market near you, order your Panang curry from Amazon here.
Nitally’s typically serves this sauce over tofu or chicken, with sweet potatoes, green peas and carrots. I like to do it over chicken, carrots, broccoli and butternut squash. Then I top it with sweet chili sauce and cilantro.
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 ounces (half a can) of red curry paste
- 1 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 C. raisins
- 1 dried ancho chile
- 1/3 C. blanched almonds
- 1 can of coconut milk
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add chile and cook until soft, about a minute. Remove from heat, discard stem and transfer to a food processor.
- Add almonds and garlic to the pan and stir until toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to food processor.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except the coconut milk to the food processor and process until it forms a paste. Add 1/4 C. of water and continue to puree until smooth.
- Add the paste to a can of coconut milk over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes or until heated through. Pour the curry over steamed veggies and rice.
If you want it a little hotter, add more curry paste. Can’t stand the heat? Add a little less. The paste without the coconut milk will last up to 2 weeks stored in the fridge.
Do you like to experiment with fusion recipes? What is your favorite combo?