I’ve been on a bit of a Thai kick lately. I can’t seem to get enough of those spicy, sour, tangy flavours. This is the curry I made to go alongside the Thai beef salad I recently posted and it encapsulates all those flavours I love in Thai cuisine. I usually use ready made curry paste, Mae Ploy or Maesri brands I find are the best. If I have the time I love to make my own paste from scratch but unfortunately that doesn’t happen too often so I always have sachets of good quality ready made paste in the pantry and they work just fine. One ingredient which I think is a must is fresh kaffir lime leaves. The aroma they impart is really crucial and makes for a much more authentic tasting curry, be it red or green. Whilst lime leaves are readily available in supermarkets and green grocers, Thai apple and pea eggplants are not and these are the usual vegetable additions to a green curry. I didn’t have time to go to a Thai grocer so I used baby corn and Japanese eggplant instead which will do in a pinch but if you’re able to lay your hands on Thai eggplants, pea or apple, then grab them for the next time you want to make a green curry. The slightly bitter note they contribute is very pleasing against all the other flavour elements. Unlike Indian curries which can take a while to make, Thai curries are relatively quick, especially with a ready made paste. Dinner can be on the table in less than an hour which makes this a great mid week meal.
Ingredients – Serves 4
1⁄3 cup coconut cream
3 tablespoons green curry paste
1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed and tender white section finely sliced
700g chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite size pieces – you can use breast but I find thai fillets more tender and flavourful
2 tablespoons palm sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
6 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half to release their aroma
3 Japanese eggplant, cut into 1 inch slices
10 baby corn
Fresh Thai basil leaves
finely sliced green chillies
Place the coconut cream in a wok or saucepan over medium heat and add the curry paste and sliced lemongrass. Cook, stirring until the curry paste starts to release oil and has become very fragrant. This should take about 5-8 minutes but be careful to not scorch the paste, lower the heat if it looks like it’s cooking too fiercely. Add the chicken and stir to coat it well in the paste and cook until it’s just changed colour. Add all the other ingredients except the eggplant and corn and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes.
Add the lime leaves, eggplant and baby corm and cook for a further 15-20 minutes. If the sauce looks like it has reduced too much then cover it for the final stage of cooking, you can also add some hot chicken stock if you like it looser. Just before serving check the seasoning and add more lime juice, sugar or fish sauce to create a good balance of flavours. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and garnish with fresh thai basil leaves and finely sliced green chillies.