World Palate Series
This popular Thai curry is usually a soup dish. Coconut milk and water forms the thick base and variety of vegetables, meat or fish float in it. In contrast, Indian curries have a base of puree of lentils mixed with ground spice. As a tourist, I had fun attending a Thai cooking class. Firstly, we visited the local market and introduced to variety of herbs, spices and pastes. In class we pounded, cut and cooked. Lastly, we we sat down ‘Thai style’ to enjoy our culinary adventure.
Thai Green Curry (Kaeng khiaw – waan kai)
Ingredients for paste:
- 7 fresh green chillies chopped finely
- 2tsp chopped garlic
- 2tsp chopped shallots
- 1tsp chopped lemon grass
- 1tsp chopped galangal (type of strong ginger)
- 1/2tsp chopped kafir lime peel
- 1tsp chopped turmeric pieces
- ½ tsp roasted peppercorns
- 2tsp roasted cumin and coriander seeds
- ½ tsp. salt to taste
- ½ tsp. light soya sauce (or shrimp paste) Optional
Vegetables of choice could include – small brinjals with green skin, snap peas, broccoli florets, red bell pepper and chunks of cabbage and baby corn.
Put peppercorns, coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a mortar and pound well. Add remaining ingredients and pound further. And shrimp /or soya sauce and blend all together. Our chef noted that Thai household ladies gather in the kitchen or backyard to pound pastes. Jokingly he added, either they share recipes, but if sharing unpleasant family matters, the pounding resounds stronger! However, on festive occasions, many hands lighten work!
Put oil in a pan on low heat and add green curry paste and bring to simmer, add coconut milk to stop burning and stir till fragrant. To dilute thick coconut milk add 1/3rd part water. Add vegetables and cook gently. Add some water if required. Do not make very thin. Add remaining coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves and stir occasionally. Season with sugar and salt and (fish sauce – optional). Sprinkle sweet basil leaves on top and turn off heat. Garnish with diagonally sliced red chillies. Serve with hot rice.
Decorate your table with some fresh orchids. Serve food with traditional wooden ladles.
Thai Green Curry – Home style
Somehow a similar Indian Sindhi curry comes to mind. The gravy base though is made of roasted gram flour whipped in yoghurt. Popular Indian vegetables like drumstick and okra are simmered in it. I tried making some and it tasted great.
- Thai Green Curry (cookingoutsidethebox.wordpress.com)