Another dinner party favourite of mine is Red Thai Chicken Curry. This is a quick dish to whip up if you can take the heat of cooking in front of your guests, or it will reheat perfectly well also. It’s easy to make the paste from scratch, though watch out for chilli burn if you wipe your eyes! I love the smell when I cut into the fresh coriander leaves and stalks, as for the ginger could somebody please bottle this scent as a perfume. Then there’s the zingy upliftiness of the lime and the heady waft of the garlic. This is beginning to sound more like aromatherapy than cooking! If you’re on a healthy stint then use low-fat coconut milk and serve with wholegrain brown rice though a nice fluffy basmati gives it a lighter feel.
The quantities I’ve given for the paste will make up about 6 generous tablespoons so enough for 2 or 3 curries depending on how spicy you like it. (I have been known to throw the whole lot in but 3 chillies in one dish can be a bit overpowering for some palates.) The paste will keep well in a sterilised jar in the fridge for a week to ten days so it’s something that you can make well in advance of a dinner party. When you’re making the paste you need to use a mini chopper as a food processors blades will just fling everything out to the sides unless you add some liquid. One final note on both the curry and the paste: the addition of a finely chopped lemongrass stalk to each of them will raise the authenticity level, though I’ve left it out of the ingredients list here as it can be very hard to get hold of in an Irish supermarket.
Red Thai Curry Paste
You will need:
3 red chillies
Half a red pepper
1 lime (zest)
Small handful fresh coriander
3cm chunk of ginger
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground coriander.
Deseed and finely chop the chillies and red pepper. Chop the shallots, coriander stalks and leaves, ginger and crush the garlic. Zest the lime and whizz everything together in a mini chopper.
Red Thai Chicken Curry
You Will Need:
4 chicken breasts
2 or 3 tbsp of home made red thai curry paste or 1 tbsp of shop bought
1 medium onion
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tsp brown sugar
400ml can coconut milk
Handful coriander leaves to serve.
Peel and chop the onion in half and then into slices.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a low heat and soften the onion for five minutes.
Cut the chicken breasts into bitesize chunks.
Add the curry paste to the onion and cook for 1 minute.
Raise the heat to medium and add in the chicken and stir well to coat with the paste.
Add the brown sugar, fish sauce and coconut milk and just bring to the boil before reducing the heat and simmering for 15 minutes.
Add chopped coriander just before serving.
Til next time, Sheila