This is a long procrastinated post and I am holding on trying the recipe because I knew that it is rather difficult to get all the authentic Thai ingredients unless I visited Golden Mile Complex Singapore where there is a Thai Supermarket.
Last night, I specifically requested my wife to have dinner in that shopping complex and got all the ingredients there including the less popular Thai eggplant and the Thai pea eggplant. I bought a package of the ready mix herbs at a reasonable price of S$2.90 there and that saves me lots of trouble of buying from different supermarket.
I have eaten Thai green curries numerous times but in order to refresh my memories, we had Thai green curries in one of the Thai restaurants in the complex and honestly speaking, it was normal, rather watery and nothing to shout about. However, I am rather amazed the greenish colour that they are able to churn out in the curries. Most of the times, the ones that I have eaten were not as green as the picture above and mostly the greenish colour shade become less obvious because of the coconut milk or cream or used. Mine after cooking is also not as greenish as what I ate last night.
The greenish colour of the curry in essence is correlated with the green chillies used. If it is very green, it should be very spicy because much more green chillies are used. As I have kids at home, I have only used 2 green chillies in my recipe so that it is not overly spicy..
There are quite a lot of herbs needed if you are preparing the green curry paste from scratch , but if you are running short of time, you can always use store green curry paste. I understand that most Thai shop does sell such curry paste. But the disadvantage is you cannot adjust the spiciness and also the taste of curries. Of course for overseas readers, homemade may not be that authentic as you have eaten in Thai due to the lack of availability of certain ingredients. One example is the Thai prawn paste . As I do not intend to buy one big bottle of Thai prawn paste just for this recipe, I have substituted with Malaysian prawn paste instead..
There are many types of curries and I have many curries recipes. They all taste a bit similar yet different. The same is with Thai Green Curries. The reasons are very simple, the curry flavour actually stems from the use of cumin seeds and this is the spice that were found in all the curries recipes. Besides cumin, there are many localization of herbs and spices uses. For example, the use of red chilli in the Malaysian curries and the use of Chocolate in Japanese curries so as to suit the local taste buds.
If you are interested, you can read my other curries recipes here:
- Malaysian and Singaporen – Orange colour curry – spicy (Recipe: Simple Homemade Curry Chicken and Golden Pillow (咖喱鸡, 咖喱面包鸡）)
- Indonesian – Beige colour curry – not spicy (Recipe: Opor Ayam (印尼白色咖喱鸡–奥宝鸡）)
- Middle Eastern – Yellowish earth colour curry – not spicy (Recipe : Classic Malay Dishes Recipe: Korma Chicken aka Ayam Kurma (科尔马鸡肉）)
- Japanese – Dark Brownish curry – not spicy (Recipe: Japanese Curry Chicken Rice)
So what is the uniqueness of Thai green curry? The uniqueness in essence stems for the addition of Thai basil and kafir lime leaves. The Thai basil aroma blends well with the cumin aroma and hence create this special Thai curry. Therefore, if you want to have authentic Thai green curry aroma, there is one thing that you cannot substitute: The Thai Basil.. If you do not like Thai green curries but loved other curries, possibly it is because of the Thai basil too. Well, that is my humble observation and I hoped readers can concur with me..
The recipe is rather easy and straight forward. In fact if you use chicken fillet, beef slices, or even pork slices, it is much faster than cooking other types of curries. I am happy with this adventure and I think the taste is very close to what I have eaten yesterday. While my kids did not eat the curry yesterday at the restaurant due to the heat, they enjoy my home cooked version because it is less spicy and the curry sauce is thicker. As for the thickness of your gravy, just like any other curries recipes, it will depend on your individual preference. I do not like my curry too watery and hence i made it slightly thicker to go with rice.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: 4-6 adult servings
Green Curry Paste
- 5 kafir lime leaves
- 2-3 cilantro or coriander roots
- 5 cm long galangal
- 1 tablespoon of Thai prawn paste
- 2 lemon grass
- 2-3 shallots
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 4-10 green chillies (depending on the spiciness you prefer)
- 2 tablespoons of coriander powder
- 1 tablespoon of cumin powder
- 750 grams of chicken fillet, cut into small pieces
- 400 ml or grams of thick coconut milk or cream
- 5 sprigs of Thai basil leaves
- 5 Thai eggplant, cut into wedges
- 1 small bundle of Thai pea eggplant (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of Thai fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- Some red chillies , sliced
- Some green chillies, sliced
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Cut all the green curry paste ingredients into small chunks and transfer to a food processor or blender. Add a bit of water and blend until fine. You can also use pestle and mortar to do the job if prefer.
- In a pan, put 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, put the green curry paste, sauté the paste until aromatic. Add about 1 cup of water to loosen the cooked curry paste, add the chicken meat, Thai eggplant and Thai pea eggplant. Add the coconut milk, and bring it to boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer until the chicken meat is soft. As this is chicken fillet, the cooking time for both the Thai eggplant and chicken fillet is almost the same which needs about 15 minutes.
- Once the meats are soft, add the Thai basil, sugar and fish sauce and once it re-boils again, off the heat and the curry is ready to be served with white rice. If times permits, like any other curries, best to let the curries rest in the pan for 1-2 hours before serving for the flavour to be further developed.
Once again, the thickness of the curry can be easily adjusted by reducing the coconut milk. Beef or pork thin slices can be used too and if you really do not have the time, watch out for green curry paste sold in the stores. While I cannot guarantee it is tastier, but I believed it does provide some convenience.
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