Friday, 1 November 2013

Green curry chicken

Now that I plucked up the courage to make my own red curry paste, I had to attempt the green one too. Red is apparently usually the base for vegetarian or fish curries whereas the green one is more often served with meat. This had chicken. Feel free to use what ever vegetables you fancy (or might be able to locate at the bottom of the fridge). Peppers, mange touts or green beans would work beautifully too.

The inspiration came from the same site as the inspiration for the red one which is here. I would have loved to try kaffir lime , the unique flavour of which I've heard so much about but so far I've not managed to locate any in Finland. I've only managed to find kaffir lime leaves. Which is a totally different thing. I've not acquired that shrimp paste either, so again I substituted it with lobster fond.

This recipe yields enough paste for a 4-person curry. It also keeps in the fridge in an air-tight container for a good couple of weeks, but it can also be frozen.

Green curry paste:

2 lemon grass stalks
4 garlic cloves
1 shallot or a small regular onion
a bunch of coriander (I used both leaves and stalks)
1,5 generous tsp freshly grated ginger (or ginger paste)
the zest and juice of 1 lime
2-3 green chillies (depending on your taste - mine were poblanos)
1 tsp lobster fond (or that Asian shrimp paste should you have some)
3 tbsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp cumin

Grind the ingredients to a paste either in a blender or using a pestle and mortar. Start with the tougher, more fibrous ones such as lemon grass and ginger. If needed, add a dash of water (1/4 dl or so) to get a smoother paste - any excess liquid will evaporate when it hits the hot pan. Check the taste and season with salt as needed.

Green chicken curry(for 4):

1/2 chilli
1- 2 garlic cloves (depending on their size and your palate)
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
dash of lime juice
2 kaffir lime leaves (or small bay leaves)
1 star anise

3 large chicken breasts (mine were still on the bone)
1,5 cans of coconut milk (the thick and creamy kind - none of that thin, watery kind)
1 smallish aubergine
1 can minicorn

to serve (thai)basil or coriander leaves, spring onions, fresh lime and chillies

Heat the wok or a large frying pan. Chop the aubergines to slices of your desired taste and fry them until soft in a little bit of oil. Remove from the pan and add a little oil in which you sauté chilli, garlic, ginger and a little bit of lime juice. Then add chicken, cut into chunks or strips (I like mine fairly large) and toss around a bit so it mixes nicely with the spices. No need to brown it. Then add curry paste, star anise and kaffir lime leaves and stir so chicken is evenly coated. Then add coconut milk. Cook over moderate heat for about 10 minutes and then add drained mini corns and aubergines. Continue cooking for further 5-10 minutes until chicken is cooked and the vegetables too are piping hot all the way through. Check the seasoning and, if needed, add more fish sauce, soy sauce or salt. Then add a couple of handfuls of (thai)basil or coriander leaves and another couple of handfuls of spring onions. Divide into bowls and serve with fresh herbs and lime wedges.

Here's a surprising fact: guess where basil, that herb so profoundly elementary to Italian cuisine originally hails from? India of all the places!




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