Thai red chicken curry
- May 2013
- Serves 4
- 15 minutes to make, 25- 30 minutes to cook
Use this recipe for easy red curry paste for an authentic, fragrant Thai chicken curry and you’ll never go back to the stuff in jars.
- 24.5g (16.5g saturated)
- 9.6g (4.4g sugars)
- 2 tbsp groundnut oil
- 2 shallots, finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 4 heaped tbsp homemade Thai red curry paste (see below)
- ½-1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp palm sugar
- 4-5 kaffir lime leaves (see tip)
- 400ml coconut milk
- 6 baby aubergines or 1 aubergine, cut into chunks
- 3 skinless free-range chicken breasts, sliced
- 150g green beans, halved
- Handful of fresh Thai basil (from Asian shops) or fresh coriander, chopped
For the Thai red curry paste
- 1½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1½ tsp coriander seeds
- 8-10 long red chillies
- 2 dried red chillies, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
- ½ tsp ground white pepper
- 3 fat garlic cloves
- 3 lemongrass stalks, outer skin removed, finely sliced
- 4 coriander roots (from Asian grocers), roughly chopped – or use the stalks from a large bunch of fresh coriander
- 6 fresh kaffir lime leaves or finely grated zest of 1 lime
- 5cm piece fresh galangal or ginger, finely grated
- 2 tsp shrimp paste (available in the world food section of supermarkets)
- To make the paste, put the cumin and coriander seeds in a small dry frying pan and toast over a medium heat for 30 seconds until fragrant. Transfer to a heavy pestle and mortar and grind as finely as possible.
- Meanwhile, roughly chop the red chillies, leaving the seeds in (they add vital heat to the dish) and put in a mini food processor with the soaked dried chillies and 1 tbsp of the soaking liquid. Blend to a purée and set aside.
- Add the rest of the paste ingredients to the pestle and mortar, one by one, making sure each ingredient has been pounded to a paste before adding the next. Finally, pound in the puréed chillies. (Alternatively, put all the paste ingredients into a small food processor and whizz to a paste.)
- To make the curry, heat the oil in a wok or frying pan and fry the shallots for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds more. Add 4 heaped tbsp of the curry paste and fry for 1 minute, then add ½ tbsp fish sauce, the palm sugar, lime leaves, coconut milk, 150-200ml water and the aubergines. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the beans and cook for a further 5 minutes until tender.
- Remove from the heat, taste and add more fish sauce if needed, then stir in the herbs and serve with steamed or coconut rice and lime wedges to squeeze over.
Buy fresh kaffir lime leaves from selected Sainsbury’s and Asian grocers. Dried kaffir lime leaves are widely available, and you can get frozen ones from some Asian grocers.
You can freeze the leftover paste in ice cube trays or in portions in freezer bags.
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