Friday, March 25, 2011

Thai Green Chicken Curry

March is Thai Cuisine Month at FabFri

Thailand is famous for its fresh tasting curries, made from aromatic pastes of chilies, fresh herbs, roots, fish sauce and seasonings. The most well known are Green curry, Red Curry, Masaman Curry (sweet and sour) and Penang curry. Most curry pastes are available ready to use in the grocery stores, but there is no comparison to the flavor and color of the homemade pastes.
Green curry paste has the fresh and aromatic flavors of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and coriander seeds. This paste can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Use it with chicken or fish or even tofu and vegetables to make a flavorful curry.

Green Curry Paste
Ingredients: (makes about half cup)
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp white peppercorns
4-5 tbsp water
12 Thai chilies
5-6 cloves of garlic
2 lemongrass stalks, coarse outer leaves discarded, chopped
5 Fresh or frozen Kaffir lime leaves
1 1/4 cup fresh coriander
rind of 1 lime
  1. Dry fry coriander and cumin seeds in a moderately hot skillet for 2 minutes until fragrant. 
  2. Grind these seeds along with peppercorns coarsely using a mortar and pestle. 
  3. Put the ground spice mix along with all other ingredients in a blender and process for 2-3 minutes into a thick and smooth paste. 
  4. Transfer to a glass jar and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Green Chicken Curry
Ingredients: (serves 4)

2 tbsp peanut oil/vegetable oil
2-3 Tbsp green curry paste (recipe above)
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cubed
2 kaffir lime leaves torn
1 lemongrass stalk finely chopped
1/2 inch galangal chopped fine
1 cup coconut milk
16 baby eggplants halved
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
salt to taste (optional)
fresh Thai basil leaves to garnish
  1. Heat wok to high heat and add oil. Add curry paste and stir fry for 40 seconds to release the aromas. 
  2. Add salt, chicken, lime leave, galangal, eggplants and lemon grass and fry for 3-4 minutes until chicken turns white. Make sure you add less salt because fish sauce is very salty and will be added later to the dish. 
  3. Add coconut milk and simmer for 8-10 minutes till chicken cooks through and eggplants are just tender. 
  4. Stir in the fish sauce and garnish with basil. Serve over a bed of steamed rice.

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