One of my goals for 2008 is to start making my own curry paste. I'm embarrassed to say that I've never attempted to do so. I think it's a combination of not having a large enough mortar and pestle and also just being lazy.
Until I do so, I'll continue to use the excellent Namjai brand green curry paste.
When making a green curry, it is important to try to use Thai sweet basil (pictured below) as it imparts a distinct aniseed-like aroma into the curry. The basil is recognisable by its purple stem and flowers.
I also add Thai green peppercorns (Prik Thai), which add a sharp bite to the fragant flavours. The next ingredient is a small Thai eggplant called Ma-kheua Phraw. Even though it soaks up the flavour of the curry, it's still quite bitter but delicious nonetheless. If I can't find any of these little eggplants I usually just substitute them with the large purple variety.
I usually use chicken, however pork, white fish or prawns work really well in this dish.
The curry can be served with rice, although I usually eat it with rice noodles which are readily available in Asian food stores.
Thai Green Curry with Chicken Recipe
4 tbs of green curry paste
1 1/2 cans of coconut milk
1 1/2 cups of water
600 grams of boneless, skinless, free-range chicken thighs
5-6 small, new potatoes, skinned and quartered
6 small Thai eggplants or 1 purple eggplant
A handful of Thai basil leaves
1-2 tbs of fish sauce
Thin Asian rice noodles or Japanese soba noodles
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Splash on some fish sauce, mix and then set aside.
- In a large, heavy-based saucepan, heat the curry paste and about 1/4 cup of coconut milk over a moderate heat. Stir well to break up the paste. Add the rest of the coconut milk and potatoes. Cover and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
- Next, add the basil leaves, eggplant and fish sauce. Simmer for another 5 minutes and then add the chicken and green peppercorns. Stir well and then reduce the heat and cover the pot. Cook for about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Taste the curry and add more fish sauce if necessary.
- Just before serving time, boil up some rice noodles and then ladle the curry on top. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.