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Thai green chicken curry

PUBLISHED: 07:44 13 April 2015 | UPDATED: 07:44 13 April 2015

Mary Kemp's thai green curry and jasmine rice.
Pictures:Sonya Brown

Mary Kemp's thai green curry and jasmine rice. Pictures:Sonya Brown

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There is something very satisfying about making a curry from scratch; finding the ingredients and creating a flavour that you enjoy or that blows your taste buds with its heat. Some are surprisingly simple, just a base of spices with fresh chillies, onions, tinned tomatoes and coconut milk. Others are much more involved.

I was given this Thai green curry recipe several years ago scribbled on an old piece of paper. I have modified it to include ingredients you can easily find, either in Asian grocers or a good supermarket. You can buy packets or jars of shrimp paste, Thai basil and galangal fresh or in jars, tubs of palm sugar and packets of dried or frozen lime leaves.

There is a long list of ingredients, but don’t let it put you off. It’s the combination of flavours that makes this a wonderful, fragrant curry. It’s best to make the paste with a pestle and mortar or in the small bowl of your food processor. This recipe makes double the quantity of the paste so freeze half to use another day.

THAI GREEN CURRY PASTE

6 small shallots

4 to 5 garlic cloves

4 lemon grass stalks

8 green bird’s eye chillies

6 Kaffir lime leaves

1 tbsp coriander leaf roots

¼ tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp shrimp paste

1 tbsp grated galangal

10 white pepper corns

1 tsp turmeric

A good pinch of salt

Peel the shallots and the garlic, discard the tough outer layer of the lemon grass stalks, deseed the chillies and roughly chop each of these ingredients.

Tear the Kaffir lime leaves into small pieces, finely chop the coriander root and grind the cumin and coriander seeds.

Then whiz or grind all the ingredients together to form a paste.

THAI GREEN CHICKEN CURRY

600ml coconut milk

2 tbsp Thai green curry paste (see above)

450g chicken fillets or thigh meat, sliced

1 tbsp grated galangal

1 tbsp palm sugar

2 ½ tbsp fish sauce

7 kaffir lime leaves torn

½ tbsp finely chopped Thai basil leaves

Serves four

I serve this curry with Thai jasmine rice, a plain, long-grain variety with a hint of jasmine scent, which when cooked has a slight stickiness to it. If you want to introduce a vegetable, try adding chopped aubergine for the last five minutes of cooking.

Very gently simmer 60ml of the coconut milk for about five minutes, stirring occasionally until it starts to split and layers of oil form on the surface. Add the curry paste, return to a low heat and cook, stirring so it doesn’t catch.

Next mix in the sliced chicken and stir well, making sure all the chicken is well coated. Then add the rest of the coconut milk, the galangal, the palm sugar and the fish sauce. Bring to the boil then simmer over a moderate heat for about 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked.

Add the Kaffir lime leaves and basil. Cook for a further minute and serve immediately with Thai jasmine rice.

Cookery writer and demonstrator Mary runs cookery days in her kitchen in East Harling and across East Anglia. To find out more, call 01953 717670 or visit www.marysfarmhousekitchen.co.uk

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