The other night I had a craving for Thai food, so I decided on a green curry. I usually use a jar of green curry paste, but this time, as I have an Asian supermarket minutes from my house, I chose to make it myself. Most, if not all the ingredients should be available at normal supermarkets, so you don’t necessarily need an Asian supermarket to make this delicious dish. The first step was making the curry paste- I used a blender so I didn’t have to cut up the ingredients very fine, but a pestle and mortar would work just as well. So I roughly chopped the ingredients for the paste, which included the following: garlic, white onion, lemon grass, ginger, basil, mint, coriander, lime juice, fish sauce, shrimp paste, ground coriander, coconut milk, chili and palm sugar.I threw all of these in a blender, using the coconut milk to get the blender working properly (if using a pestle and mortar no coconut milk would be required). If you like it spicy throw in lots of chili- I usually do, but sadly didn’t have enough chili to give the dish the traditional kick that it usually has.
To make the curry I added the curry paste to a pot over a medium heat and cooked it, making sure not to burn it as this will ruin the dish. When the paste was fragrant and had reduced a little I added sliced chicken and cooked it for several minutes. I then added a can of coconut milk, you could add two if you like more liquid, or could substitute chicken or vegetable stock for a less creamy curry. I left this to simmer for ten minutes.
While the curry was simmering I prepared the vegetables- I went for eggplant, green capsicum (peppers) and zucchini. I also took this time to cut up some more chilies and a few lime wedges. I also picked more mint, coriander and basil to add right at the end for fragrance.
After the chicken had simmered in the curry for approximately ten minutes, I added the capsicum, eggplant and zucchini to cook until tender. When everything is cooked to your liking, taste for seasoning. Thai food should have a balance of hot, sour, salty and sweet, therefore add more fish sauce if you need the salty flavour, a squeeze of lime juice for the sour, more chili for the hot and more palm sugar if it isn’t sweet enough.
Before serving I threw in the fresh herbs and garnished the dish with more chili. Delicious. This dish is amazingly fragrant and packed full of flavour. If you substitute most of the coconut milk for chicken stock it is also very healthy, however do not get rid of all of the coconut milk, as it then loses its velvety texture. I like mine rich and milky, with pleny of coconut milk.
– you can substitute palm sugar for brown sugar
– always season at the end, because you want to get the balance just before serving
– use vegetables you like, eggplant is one of the more traditional options, but experiment!
– Thai basil is preferable over regular basil, however both work fine
– you can always buy a jar of green curry paste instead of making your own, however its much more satisfying to do it yourself!