Thai Green Curry

Thai Green Curry

A zesty blend of green chillies and spices cooked in coconut
milk and coconut cream along with meat or seafood and
vegetables, green curry is quintessential Thai comfort food.

Origins
Each Southeast Asian country has its own variation of curry. Thailand has many – red, panang, massaman, yellow, sour and green. During the Ayutthaya period (AD 1351–1767), Siam opened its borders to trade, allowing in the Indians and Moors who are said to have added milk and/or cream to the local spice pastes. Through the years, the cream was replaced with coconut cream. The rest is (food) history.

SERVES 4

You’ll need
2 cups (500mL) coconut milk
500g (1lb) sliced chicken,
pork, seafood or tofu
100g (3½oz) eggplants
100g (3½oz) pea eggplants
2 tsp palm sugar
2 kaffir lime leaves
Fish sauce to taste
3–5 red chillies, seeded, finely
sliced
1 cup fresh Thai sweet basil
leaves
Jasmine rice to serve

Paste
20 Thai green chillies
2 tbs galangal, chopped
6 tbs lemongrass, white
portion, scraped and
chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves
4 pieces coriander root,
chopped
1 tsp chopped red turmeric
4 shallots, peeled and
chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and
chopped
1 tsp shrimp paste

Cooking Method
1 Pound the paste ingredients in a pestle and mortar until well mixed. Set aside.
2 Heat a large saucepan or wok and add the cream from the top of the coconut milk (don’t shake the can before opening it).
3 Stir the cream. When it has split, add the curry paste and fry with the cream until it’s fragrant. Add the remaining coconut milk.
4 Add your meat, seafood or tofu and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for 5–10 minutes.
5 Add the eggplants, pea eggplants, palm sugar and kaffir lime leaves to the curry and simmer for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6 Add fish sauce for saltiness and chillies for spice. Boil through and stir in the basil leaves for a minute more before serving with jasmine rice.

Tasting notes
Yes, the colour comes from the chillies! But along with zingy Thai green chillies, green curry paste is made from a bunch of other fresh ingredients: lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and liquorice-flavoured sweet Thai basil. During cooking, coconut cream and coconut milk are added to soften the spicy edge, and fish sauce provides umami (savoury flavour). True gourmands will seek out a restaurant that serves this curry spicy, with an oily sheen on top – from oil that splits from the coconut cream. The versatility of this dish explains much of its universal popularity – it’s just as tasty with seafood as it is with chicken or pork. Vegetarians can add more eggplant and tofu for a tasty, protein-filled meal.

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