Thursday, 17 January 2013

Easy Thai Chicken Curry

This dish is fabulous for parties. It doesnt involve a lot of chopping and is so quick and easy to make, it a must do for any dinner party where you don't have a lot of time to prepare. All you need to go with it is a bowl of steamed white rice.

Thai curry pastes are now available everywhere. You can use them with any kind of meat, but I generally prefer to use the green paste with chicken, and the red with beef. The yellow can be used for either chicken or seafood.

easy thai chicken curry
Easy Thai Chicken Curry

500gms boneless chicken breast
2 heaped tsps of green thai curry paste
sliced bird chillies (optional)
1 eggplant or potato
1 can of coconut milk
3-4 tbsps of coconut milk powder
lemon grass stalks, bruised with a mallot
3-4 kaffir lime leaves
1/4 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp of jaggery (or brown sugar)
1 lime
handful of fresh basil leaves

Cut the chicken breast into about 1 inch cubes. Thai curries are usually made with eggplant (pea aubergines in particular which aren't easily available). Use regular eggplant instead, which you dice in the same size as the chicken so that they cook together. But if you dont have eggplant at home, diced potatoes will taste just as good, again keeping the size the same as the chicken.

In this dish I used potatoes. The lemongrass and basil leaves were from my garden. Kaffir lime leaves stay very well in the freezer. Just put them in a ziploc bag and they will keep forever in there.

I like to use a combination of canned coconut milk and milk powder to achieve a thicker curry.

In a casserole, heat oil. Add the bruised lemon grass and the chopped chicken. Fry for two minutes. Then add the thai curry paste. If you would like it milder add just 1 tsp of paste or spicier then add 3tsps. For those that like it very hot, add in some sliced bird chillies. Add in your vegetable at this point. Either the potatoes or the eggplant. Crumble the jaggery and add a few drops of fish sauce. Fish sauce is extremely salty, so you just need a little. It can stay for a very long time in your pantry as well. Add about a cup of water and let it cook, keeping the lid closed. If you are using eggplant, check it every now and then, as you don't want the eggplant to get overcooked.

In the meanwhile, prepare your coconut milk powder, which you need to dissolve in about a cup of water.

Once your vegetables are cooked, open and add in the coconut milk can and the prepared coconut milk powder. Add in your kaffir lime leaves. By tearing them slightly keeping the full leaf intact, they help release their flavour. Squeeze in the juice of one lime. I like using the green usa key limes.

Keeping the fire on a medium flame, give it another 5-10 mins more of cooking time, till the coconut milk has cooked. Do not let it overboil or it could curdle. Once the heat is turned off, garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Serve it piping hot with some equally piping hot rice!