Thai cooking at home
Our culinary journey throughout Thailand had to have a Curry, of course. Thai Chicken Green Curry is our favourite and it is actually really easy and quick to prepare.
Once you know the basics and have a good green curry paste, you can vary and create a lot of different versions: with prawns, fish, only veggies, potatoes, tofu and so on.
I learned to prepare this dish from scratch, which meant also pounding for a very long hour to get the green curry paste. I will describe to you how to make your own curry paste – because yes, you DO taste the difference – BUT I usually take a store-bought original Thai paste. I check the ingredients first, to make sure it only contains what it should. I have done the one-hour pounding and I am not doing it again!
You can make your curry paste in the blender or Thermomix. Again, it is not the same as grinding the ingredients with mortar and pestle, but it is very close. Close enough for me.
Thai Green Curry paste:
* 15 green hot chilies
* 3 shallots, sliced
* 6 garlic cloves
* 1 teaspoon finely sliced galangal (young ginger, if not available substitute with ginger)
* 1 tablespoon sliced lemongrass (only the green part)
* 4 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced (if not available substitute with the rind of 1/2 a lime, grated)
* 1 teaspoon of chopped coriander roots (if not available substitute with coriander leaves, chopped)
* 5 black pepper corns
* 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
* 1 teaspoon of cumin
* 1 teaspoon of salt
* 1 teaspoon of shrimp paste
Grind all the ingredients starting with the harder ones (lemongrass) and adding the others a little at a time. If using a blender, make sure to cut the ingredients in small pieces to facilitate the process and add water if the paste is too thick.
You can store the paste for up to two weeks in the fridge or freeze it up to 3 months.
If you are going to buy the green curry paste, make sure that it lists the ingredients that are supposed to be inside and don’t have added oils and preservatives.
Ok, so let’s move on to the green curry with chicken and eggplants.
The preparation here is quite simple, I’ll give you some alternatives to the thai ingredients as they are not available everywhere, but if you are lucky to have them, your curry is going to be amazing!
Ingredients for Thai Chicken Green Curry:
* 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or olive oil)
* 3 tablespoons of green curry paste
* 500 ml of coconut milk (if using cream, dilute it with water)
* 500 g of chicken breast, cut in mouth size pieces
* 6 thai white eggplants (if not available use one regular eggplant), cut in mouth size pieces
* pea eggplant (if not available, omit)
* 1 red chili, sliced diagonally
* 3 kaffir lime leaves, torn (if not available use the rind of 1 lime, grated)
* one handful of thai basil (if not available use regular basil)
* 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
* 1 tablespoon of thai soy sauce (or regular soy sauce)
* 1 tablespoon of thai palm sugar (or coconut or brown sugar)
1. Prepare all ingredients and set aside.
2. In a wok heat 1 tbs of coconut oil, add 3 tbs of green curry paste and fry to release the flavors, then reduce the heat.
3. Add 300 ml of coconut milk and heat it up stirring until it becomes oily (you’ll see oil on the surface and it will boil).
4. Add the chicken breast (500 g cut in mouth size pieces) and cook for 5 minutes.
5. Add the eggplant (6 thai or 1 regular) and cook for another 5 minutes.
6. Now pour the remaining coconut milk (200 ml) and season with the fish sauce (1 tbs), soy sauce (1 tbs) and palm sugar (1 tbs). Stir well and dissolve the sugar on low heat.
7. Sprinkle with kaffir leaves (3, torn), thai basil and the sliced red chili and turn off the heat.
8. Garnish with more sweet basil leaves and chili before serving with steamed white rice.
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