Adventures living as expats.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Curry Cravings - Thai Green Curry

A few weeks ago Les and I did a talk for AWA (American Women's Association) where I discussed curry (Thai, Indonesian, and Indian) and she highlighted a traditional wedding she attended in India and explained the customs related to a few events.  Jeff was my guinea pig and sous chef for all the curry creations which he was more than happy to help with.  The talk went really well with only a little stage fright on my part due to the large size of the group.  To kick off the Thai discussion, I talked about a few of the popular types of Thai curry:

  • Green curry is generally mild and sweet with fresh green chilies, lime leaves, and cilantro to give the vibrant green color.
  • Red curry is spicy and uses fresh red chilies (both hot and mild) to give the bright red color
  • Penang is a peanut curry that is creamy and mild with dried red chilies used, instead of fresh, and crushed peanut is added while the curry sauce cooks.

I went into more explanation on Thai Green Curry and gave out the recipe below.  This is an update/improvement to the traditional green curry I posted last year and uses lime leaves (one of my new favorite herbs) in the paste and more vegetables in the curry.  The method is very similar and starts with a great curry paste of cilantro leaves and roots, ginger, galangal, shallots, lime leaves, green chilies, lemongrass, garlic, salt, coriander, cumin, and white pepper.
My little Sharp grinder works better than the food processor for the paste.
Gather all the ingredients as the cooking can go pretty fast.
Fry the paste in cooking oil to help release the flavors.
Meat and veggies are added once the paste becomes fragrant.  After a few minutes add the liquids and simmer on low.   
Add the finishing flavors, plate, and garnish with herbs.

Thai Green Chicken Curry
8 chicken thighs or 4 breast halves
1 Tbsp oil
3 garlic cloves thinly sliced
1 large eggplant chopped
1 cup mushrooms halved
1 carrot diced
200 ml thick coconut milk
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 tsp sugar (optional)
2 kaffir lime leaves torn
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 cup cilantro roughly chopped
¼ cup basil torn

Curry Paste:
4 large green chillies
4 garlic cloves
3 shallots
2 lemon grass stalks
3 kaffir lime leaves
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 inch galangal
1 inch ginger
4 cilantro roots
2 Tbsp cilantro leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper

  1. Chop curry paste ingredients and grind in processor to form a paste.  Add water if needed to keep the mix turning.
  2. Heat oil in wok, add curry paste and stir-fry 2- 3 minutes.
  3. Add chicken, garlic, eggplant, mushrooms, and carrots and stir-fry for around 5 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk and mix well to combine with curry paste, bring to a low simmer.
  5. Add the chicken broth, sugar, lime leaves, and fish sauce.  Simmer gently until chicken is cooked and eggplant is tender, adding water according to preference.
  6. Stir in cilantro and basil and remove from heat.
Note: Can be made ahead of time (through step 5) and reheated.

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