Thai Green Curry, London style…

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Thai Green Curry is a wonderful thang, visiting Thailand last year we were treated to a more authentic variety and I have been trying to get to a home made version that really sings to me.

David Thompson’s Thai food is one of my favourite cook books, not just for the recipes but for the background stories and the way he describes the ingredients, the Thai people ad their approach to cooking as well as laying out the regional variations. This is a book with a cover made from pink silk  – need I say more? It is very dear to my heart, and I think anyone who would like to cook Thai food should go and buy this book immediately!

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Anyway, I did a green curry last night after work, with a heavy emphasis on David Thompson’s method, but in a more ‘that which you can get in the local crappy supermarket’ way. If I had known that Rocket was wending his way through China Town in an attempt to circumvent the crowds dispersing after Le Tour passed through London, I’d have loaded him up with a bit more of  a shopping list.  I also added a few green beans as the chicken fillets I used were quite puny and I wanted to make the dish go a bit further….

I was really pleased with how this turned out and I commend it as a quick dish that takes no more that 45 minutes from commencement to table, if using a food processor, it would be considerably quicker. I ‘bust’ the hand blender on the various fibrous items and decided, instead of unearthing the other blender, I would just go Thai style and pound everything to a pulp in the mortar and pestle. So not only did I break the blender, I splashed chilli in my eyes…but it was all in a good cause so – hey ho.

This version serves two.

2 free range chicken breasts or 3 to 4 thighs

A few green beans, cut into pieces about 5 to 6 cm long

A small handful of pea aubergines

1 cup each of coconut cream, chicken stock, and coconut milk

1 tablespoon of fish sauce

1 shredded kaffir lime leaf

For the paste

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1 banana shallot, finely chopped

1 good tablespoon of chopped green birds eye chilli’s – seeds in.

1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon grass

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped galgangal or ginger – I don’t mean to suggest that they are interchangeable but I realise galangal isn’t always available to me.

1 tablespoon chopped coriander root.

1 tsp chopped red turmeric or 1/4 tsp dried turmeric

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp white pepper corns

1/2 tsp coriander seeds – roasted and crushed

1/4 tsp cumin seeds roasted and crushed.

1/2 tsp shrimp paste.

1 dessert spoon of kaffir lime zest.

Blend/crush/blitz the paste mixture and set aside.

Slice the chicken.

Put the paste into a saucepan and cook out on medium heat for a minute or two, then add the coconut cream.

Next add the chicken and pea aubergines to the mix, cook for a few minutes and then add the stock and coconut milk along with the shredded lime leaves and green beans.

Cook for a few more minutes until the chicken is done and the add the fish sauce.

Serve into bowls and garnish with sliced red chilli and thai basil – when I can’t get that, I will garnish with coriander, basil or mint or a mixture!

We had this with some plain jasmine rice and a little sliced cucumber.

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