The most common mistake made with Thai curries is that people leave them to
boil for too long and destroy the individual flavours. As with the rest of
Thai cooking, most of the time is spent at the preparation stage. From start
to finish most curries should take less than 25 minutes. We’re using chicken
thigh meat here as it won’t dry out as quickly as breast, but always use the
best quality you can afford.
Serves 4 – 6
For the paste
10 dried large red chillies
50g galangal, peeled
1 stalk lemon grass
Zest of 1 lime
10 coriander roots
7 cloves garlic, peeled
3 Thai shallots, peeled
1 white peppercorn
1 tsp shrimp paste
For the curry
300ml coconut cream
40g palm sugar
300g sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
500ml coconut milk
140g tinned bamboo shoots
1tbsp fish sauce
500g chicken thigh fillet, cut into small pieces
300g peeled raw prawns
6 Japanese aubergines, halved
1kg green beans, cut into short lengths
5 Thai basil leaves, roughly chopped
Coriander, roughly chopped
Small handful uncooked bean sprouts
1.To make the paste, place the dried chillies in a bowl and cover with warm
water. Soak for 30 minutes, then drain and de-seed. Pound all the paste
ingredients in a pestle and mortar until smooth, or blend in a food
processor without any liquid.
2. For the curry, heat the coconut cream in a wok until it splits (evaporates)
and add 3tbsp of the paste and the palm sugar. Stir for 1-2 minutes until
fragrant, then add the sweet potato.
3. Pour in the coconut milk and stir in the bamboo. Add the fish sauce and
bring to the boil. Cook for a further 6-7 minutes.
4. Add the chicken, prawns, aubergines and green beans and cook until tender
and cooked through. Stir through the basil at the last minute.
5. Serve garnished with the bean sprouts and coriander.
Top tip: Store the remaining curry paste in a screw-top jar in the fridge
for up to 1 week.