You may ask why bother putting the easiest curry ever on a fine dining blog. One reason is that the previous dish was a tad complicated so i wanted to put an easy one on for you all to have a go. Thai green curries are good, but i have to mention the big difference between fresh curry paste and packet. I can only equate it to UHT milk and fresh. The difference is that obvious. It’s probably down to the amount of salt in the pre-bought pastes to help preserve them. So here we go:
Curry Paste: 2 large green chillies/2 large shallots/ heaped tsp ginger paste/ 2-3 cloves garlic/ bunch coriander(stalks included)/2 lemomgrass(soaked in water if really dry) stalks/ juice and zest of lime/ 6 lime leaves/ 1 tsp coriander and cumin ground/ 1tsp shrimp paste(if you cant find it add an anchovy)/ tsp palm sugar/ splash of fish sauce.
To finish, 300ml coconut milk, basmati rice, tamarind, fish sauce, palm sugar, lime juice. Meat or vegetables of your choice. I used 300g chicken, green beans and mushrooms.
RICE: I’m sure there are lots of tried and tested/failed ways of cooking rice. I follow a few hard and fast rules. Use Tilda Basmati rice, its the best authentic rice you’ll get. Supermarket own labels are very poor comparisons. If you want lovely long grains like you get in the Indian, you need to soak the rice in cold water for up to two hours. I generally give 30mins. Change the water after this.
Very easy rules, but must be followed to the letter. Use a cup of rice to 2 cups water. A smallish 250ml cup is enough for 2 people. Place rice and cold water in pan. Bring to a boil without lid on. As soon as it begins to boil, reduce heat to a very low setting, place lid on top. 10mins will be all it needs now. If you have a glass lid all the better. It should boil away until “craters” appear in the rice. It should be ready to go immediately, if not leave the lid on for 10-15mins and it will continue to steam cook.
1) Put all the paste ingredients in a processor, blitz until a fine paste is reached. A touch of oil may be needed to help loosen it.
2) The paste then needs to be cooked off in some oil, about five minutes so that the raw onion and ginger taste will have gone. I then add my meat and vegetables, diced chicken breast, quartered mushrooms and green beans. again five minutes should do so that all individual pieces have taken on flavour from the paste.
3) Then add coconut milk, bring to a simmer then it should be ready to go. Now curries are always down to personal taste. So i find if its too hot add more sugar, too salty add acid(lime juice or tamarind).
4) Serve in a separate bowl as shown just to be posh if you want, but before serving you must add a squeeze of lime juice to each serving. For the rice, i have a rounded rice bowl,so i decant rice into these, press lightly with a spoon then upturn on the plate to get the neat presentation as shown.
I have say, apart from being sat on a beach in Thailand with the sun going down and a drink in my hand, this is by far the best Thai curry i have tasted. It tasted like every curry should, yet as it was so fresh the layers of flavour were apparent. From the lemongrass to the lime juice, it just felt so energising as it was bursting with so many flavours that usually are drowned out by the coconut milk.