When crisis strikes, part of the grieving process involves a call to action. Living far from the blaze, I found it so hard to believe that less than 25 miles from the safety of our jungle home in Haiku, there was a catastrophe of proportions the world had not yet seen. We woke up that day to the unbelievable news that just miles away, our beloved historic town of Lahaina was transformed into toxic rubble and ash. We all grieve and continue to do so, but our Maui community has demonstrated the true spirit of aloha through its service to one another. Creating in the kitchen was my answer to grief and since food is a love language and sustenance is a basic human need, I was so happy to create this meal for a bunch of hungry workers who were based out of Waipuna Chapel who worked tirelessly in fire relief efforts.  

Before you snub your nose up at the mention of curry—remember curry only means “sauce” in its country of origin—trust me, this sauce is so yummy. I have yet to meet a crowd who didn’t come back for seconds and ask for the recipe.  


  • 1 shallot
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (seeds removed)
  • 4 tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 4 oz jar tomato paste
  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth (sub vegetable broth for vegan)
  • Coconut sugar (sub brown sugar)
  • Juice of 2 fresh limes or to taste
  • Fish sauce to taste (sub shoyu for vegan)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro and/ or Thai basil
  • 1/2 cup cashews or peanuts
  • Any vegetable medley of your choice
  • Jasmine rice
  • Protein of your choice 


  1. Heat up 3 tbsp coconut oil in a flat bottom two-quart saucepan.
  2. If you have a mini food processor— this is a great time to use it.  Mince shallot, ginger, garlic, and pepper into a chunky paste.  
  3. Add aromatic paste to heated oil, stirring over medium-high heat until fragrant,  about two minutes. 
  4. Sprinkle yellow curry powder over aromatics and combine, heating for another minute.   
  5. Add tomato paste and combine with curry and aromatic paste—heat for 1 more minute combining with the back of a spoon.   
  6. Pour in coconut milk and chicken broth. Combine, then add coconut sugar, fish sauce, and fresh lime juice. Adjust accordingly for flavor.
  7. Serve over vegetables/ tofu/ protein and steaming hot jasmine rice and garnish with fresh cilantro/Thai basil blend and cashews.