Friday, 4 December 2009

thai green curry


can't believe i have never blogged about this before. i have made this curry countless times, as you can tell by the food-splattered page in the nigel slater's cookery book. (ah nigel...i wonder what he does on wet saturdays like this one. jumpers, pots of tea, scones and writing? radio 4 in the kitchen?) not sure why i look at the recipe any more when i know it off by heart.

it's a dish that makes you never want to buy a thai curry paste again - it's just not a patch on this homemade version which, if not necessarily authentic, at least has the zing and the freshness of the real thing. don't be put off by a long list of ingedients - once they're all assembled in front of you, all you need to do is some peeling and a little bit of chopping.
you can vary the veg used - i have done vegetarian versions with squash, aubergine and mushrooms but the addition of chicken is very nice too. i think the aubergine is essential. the rest can depend on what you have in the fridge and your desire for authenticity.

the only thing is, you can't really make it without a food processor, or a very large pestle and mortar and someone willing to do the crushing. i have done it in a blender but you need to add some kind of liquid to get it going, and it will eventually blunt the blades. not to be recommended. (how exactly did i live without a food processor?)

THAI GREEN CURRY
for four, though not in our house

for the paste:
4 stalks lemongrass, tender inside leaves only, chopped
6 green chillies, seeded and chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 shallots, peeled and chopped
a good fistful of coriander leaves
1tsp lime zest or 5-6 lime leaves
juice of one lime
1/2 tsp ground peppercorns

for the rest:
2 chicken breasts, chopped into chunks
4 small aubergines, or 2 large ones, cut into large chunks
200g button mushrooms (or any other kind of mushrooom)
1 400ml tin of coconut milk
300ml chicken stock - usually made from powder in my case
a handful of basil leaves - thai basil if you can get hold of it, chopped
a handful of coriander leaves, chopped

put all the paste ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth.

in a large pan, fry the aubergine and the chicken in oil over quite high heat. you want them to colour a little. when the aubergine is beginning to soften, add the mushrooms and fry for another couple of minutes.

add about 4tbs of paste, stiring so it doesn't burn, and fry it off for a minute or two, then add the coconut milk and the stock. leave to simmer for ten minutes or until the vegetables are fully tender. taste it and see if needs any more paste adding to it - which i always conclude it does, thus making the initial 4tbs game totally ridiculous. if you do add more, cook it for another minute or two.

that's it. just stir in some basil and coriander before serving.

2 comments:

  1. Great recipe isn't it? Love your description of Nigel's rainy Saturdays....they sound like mine.

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  2. er, i think i have a nigel obsession http://n1kitchen.blogspot.com/2009_10_01_archive.html

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