The GP Advent Calendar of Cuisine – Kent’s Festive Thai Green Curry

Kent, Going Postal

 
Again this is not a traditional festive recipe (although I have served it to family and friends during the  festive period where I invariably get absolutely trollied much to Mrs Kent’s distain) nor is it a traditional  Thai green curry recipe as that contains coriander leaf which I hate so much I’d rather have carnal relations  with Anna Soubry than get it within 14ft of my mouth, as a consequence the green in my Thai green curry paste  comes from basil leaves.

The ingredients are all readily available in all good supermarkets, Asda even do a pack especially for the curry  which has lemon grass and galangal – this can be found in the fresh fruit and veg aisle. The kaffir lime leaves  can be found in the spices section of all good supermarkets.

I will say that of all the curries I’ve cooked over the years a Thai green lends it’s self very well to home  cooking and always goes down a treat with guests. This recipe will serve 4 adults easily.

First up you are going to have to make a paste which requires a blender, you could do it in a large pestle and  mortar but to be honest that would be a royal pain the in ass. As you can see from the photo I have a 1970s  vintage moulinex blender which does the job perfectly.

As you can also see from the photo there is a bag of green finger chillies I usually put around 5 to six  including the seeds into my paste but you can put in fewer or as many as you like.

The ingredients for the green curry paste are:

  • 4 to 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • The juice of 2 whole limes and the zest
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of fish sauce
  • 10 black pepper corns
  • ¼ teaspoon of cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon of coriander powder
  • 1 inch piece of peeled galangal
  • 2 sticks of lemon grass
  • 1 medium banana shallot
  • Bag of basil leaves
  • 5 to 10 green finger chillies (seeds in)
  • Olive oil

Method for the paste:

Peel the shallot and cut into small pieces and put into the blender, remove the outer layer of the lemon grass  and the bottom root part, cut into half and place into blender.

Using a grater (a parmesan one is prefect) zest the limes straight into the blender, then place the limes in the  microwave for 10 seconds chop in half and squeeze the juice into the blender. Add in the kaffir lime leaves,  spices, fish sauce and basil leaves.

Peel the galangal and grate using the parmesan grater you don’t have to do this but I find it removes the fibrous  bits of the root and makes for a better paste, then put the grated galangal into the blender. I always squeeze  the juice that is left in the fibrous parts of the galangal into the paste for extra flavour. Remove the tops  from the chillies and put in as many as you like.

Turn on the blender and through the little aperture in the top pour in some olive oil until you get a good paste  like consistency. Empty the contents into a bowl and set aside – you can keep this in the fridge for a few days  with no problems.

Now onto the actual curry the ingredients you’ll need to serve four are:

  • 1 can of full fat coconut milk
  • 3 to 4 chicken breasts
  • Lime juice
  • Fish sauce
  • Sugar to taste

Chop the chicken breast into curry size pieces place into a suitable container with the juice of half a lime some  black pepper give them a little mix and set aside  – I usually do this around 30 minutes before cooking to allow  it to marinate a bit, but it’s not strictly necessary.

Now it time for the cooking:

Get a pan on the hob and using a medium heat dump all the curry paste you made earlier and cook for around 2 to 3  minutes stirring occasionally. Then open up the tin of coconut milk and dump that into the pan.

At this point you will have a very watery curry but don’t worry about that as you will reduce it later. Put the  chicken into the pan and cook for around 15 minutes or until the chicken has cooked, then using a slotted spoon  remove the chicken and set aside.

Turn the heat up and reduce the curry sauce until the get the right consistency – at this point you can add in  some sugar, some extra fish sauce and lime juice until to get the seasoning just as you like (be careful of the  fish sauce as adding too much will be a disaster). Once reduced put the chicken back in and serve with some  jasmine or basmati rice.

Simples!

*You can use ginger if galangal is proving elusive to track down.

** Prawns work well instead of chicken or you can add in a few small frozen ones in with the chicken.
 

© Kent B