Thai green curry

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 6 people

Fresh aromatics, a mortar and pestle and a little muscle are the keys to an authentic green curry, writes Emma Knowles.

  • 12 coriander roots
  • 30 gm green birdseye chillies, finely chopped
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 10 gm (2cm piece) galangal, finely chopped
  • 5 gm turmeric, finely chopped
  • Rind of 1½ kaffir limes, pith discarded, green part finely chopped
  • 4 red shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste, roasted (see note)
  • 10 whole white peppercorns
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds, dry-roasted, ground
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds, dry-roasted, ground
  • 500 ml (2 cups) coconut cream
  • 50 ml coconut oil
  • 2 tsp finely shaved light palm sugar, or to taste (optional)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
  • 8 skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 250 ml (1 cup) coconut milk
  • 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
  • 400 gm apple eggplant, halved, or pea eggplant
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) Thai basil
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, coarsely torn, plus extra whole to serve
  • 3 long red chillies, thickly sliced diagonally, plus extra to serve
  • To serve: fried shallots, fried garlic (see note), steamed jasmine rice and lime cheeks
01   Scrape fibrous outer layer from coriander roots, soak in a bowl of cold water to remove grit (5 minutes), then drain, rinse, finely chop and set aside.
02   Pound birdseye chilli and ¼ tsp sea salt to a fine paste in a mortar and pestle (5 minutes).
03   One at a time, add coriander root, lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, kaffir lime rind, shallot and garlic, pounding each to a fine paste before adding the next ingredient. Add shrimp paste, pound to combine, then add peppercorns and pound until finely crushed. Add ground coriander and cumin seeds, pound to combine and set aside.
04   Simmer coconut cream and coconut oil in a large saucepan over low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until thickened and oil rises to the surface (5-10 minutes).
05   Add half the curry paste (reserve remainder for another use) and stir until fragrant and deepened in colour (4-5 minutes). Add sugar, cook until lightly caramelised (2-3 minutes), then add fish sauce and stir to combine.
06   Add chicken and stir to coat well (2-3 minutes). Add coconut milk and stock, stir to combine, then add eggplant and simmer until chicken is cooked and eggplant is just tender (4-5 minutes). Add Thai basil, kaffir lime leaves and chilli, adjust seasoning to taste and stir to combine. Scatter with fried shallot, fried garlic, extra lime leaves and extra chilli and serve hot with steamed jasmine rice and limes.

Note To roast shrimp paste, wrap it in foil and roast at 200C until fragrant (5-10 minutes). Fried shallots and fried garlic are available from Asian grocers.

Topics:

GALANGAL, CHICKEN, THAI, EGGPLANTS, CHILLIES, COCONUT, CORIANDER, MASTERCLASS, SHALLOTS, MAIN, SUMMER

Recipe:

EMMA KNOWLES

Photography:

ELLA BRODIE-REED

Styling:

EMMA KNOWLES

FEATURED IN

Feb 2013

Feb 2013

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