Friday, August 17, 2012

Thai Chicken Jungle Curry (Kang Pa Kai)

Tonight's Menu
Jungle Chicken Curry
Steamed Rice
Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz 

This is a spicy and juicy red chicken curry which can be fiery hot depending on the red curry paste. This is an interesting dish since it has variety of vegetables along with the chicken. In the picture you see I have only added the eggplant and bamboo shoots, but feel free to add green beans and red peppers to get an explosion of flavours. Requires some advance preparation as in chopping veges and grinding the red curry sauce. Once you get started with the preliminaries, the dish comes together surprisingly fast. Serve alongside steamed rice or rice noodles.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)
4 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 tbsp garlic crushed
1/3 cup thinly sliced bamboo shoots
handful long green beans, cut into 1inch pieces
1/2 red pepper cut into thin strips
4 small Indian eggplants quartered
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tsp sugar
handful fresh basil
3 tbsp oil

3 tbsp Red curry paste (ingredients below)
12 dried red chillies
1tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp peppercorns
2 shallots
1 inch fresh ginger
2 stalks lemon grass
4 kaffir lime leaves
salt to taste
1/4 cup water

  • Make red curry paste  - Soak red chillies in boiling water for 10 minutes until soft. Drain and set aside. In a skillet dry roast cumin and coriander seeds till they start to pop 2-3 minutes. Grind these in a dry grinder. In a blender take this spice powder along with all the ingredients and process for 2-3 minutes till a smooth paste is formed. Store in an airtight glass jar in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Chop all the vegetables and slice chicken into even sized strips. 
  • Heat oil in a wok till it starts to smoke. Add garlic and red curry paste and stir for 30 seconds. Add chicken strips and stir fry on high for about 2 minutes.
  • Add warm water and bring to boil. Season with fish sauce or salt(remember that the red curry paste is already salty) and sugar and add all the veges except red peppers. Cook for 2-3 minutes till tender.
  • Add basil leaves and red pepper strips and cook for another minute. Serve garnished with basil or lime leaves.

Recipe adapted from:  'Simply Thai Cooking' by Wandee Young & Byron Ayanoglu
                                                           'Cooking School Thai'

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