Both myself and Chonu, my hubby, we love Thai food. After having eaten a couple of times at some Restaurants I also started cooking these dishes myself at home. Earlier, when we did not have any restrictions on the hotness of the sauce, I used generous amounts of these packaged curry pastes. And we found them not bad at all. They do not contain any preservatives or colours or any flavour enhancers et cetera. And still, they give the food a very authetic Thai flavour. One does notice the difference in the freshness between a good Restaurant curry, I admit, but still not to such an extent. In fact, this Thai friend, living here in Germany, told me that she likes to use them too - although, I guess more out of need than choice.
I still use these curry pastes, to avoid making things too complicated, but despite that, I cannot use these pastes like before, as that makes the curry we make too hot for my son to be able to eat and enjoy them. Earlier I used half of the paste each time for both of us, now it is not more than a teaspoon of the total, which is almost 1/10th of the whole quantity. But, it still adds to the wonderful flavours of the curry. So, I usually keep at least one packet of these pastes in stock in my pantry. But, otherwise I try to use as many fresh ingredients for the curry as possible.
For last Friday we had already planned a few days before that we will be eating Thai style chicken. And the desire to make it became even stronger after I saw a post on My Cooking Hut, a food blog, yesterday with some beautiful pictures and delicious recipes from someone who is a Malaysian. Her post on a prawn curry was the inspiration for this recipe.
The chicken turned out so good. Sometimes I feel the clarity of thought and a relaxed mind at that moment is so important to get good results while cooking too. Rather than a hurriedly prepared meal. I personally get into trouble when I have to prepare something in a hurry and I loose this feeling which usually guides me while cooking. Then I prefer sticking to the food I grew up eating, which I could prepare with my (concious) brain shut off!
So, here it goes, a simple but very tasty recipe:
3 filets Chicken, washed, pat dried and cut into thin stripes
fish sauce and
a pinch of ground curcuma
1/2 tbsp dried coriander powder (optional - I'm just so fanatic about it!)
1 tbsp lime/lemon juice (added later, had forgotten to add this!)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
3 small garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 inch (about 3 cm) ginger, chopped coarsely
1 tsp lime juice
1 can of coconut mik, shaken before opening
2 cups green beans (French beans), chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped into thin slices
fish sauce, to taste
1 tsp Kaang Pa Country Style Red Curry Paste (Lobo)
1 lemon grass, cut into long pieces and the white part crushed
5-6 kaffir lime leaves, chopped or leaves slit on both sides of the mid-vain
1/2 lime (or lemon), the juice
1/2 tbsp dried coriander powder (optional)
1 cup cabbage, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
10 sprigs Thai basil leaves, washed and pat dried
2 tbsp coriander leves (cilantro), chopped, to garnish
- Marinate chicken : chicken pieces+ fish sauce+ turmeric+lime juice
- Make into a fine paste: onion, garlic and ginger with lime juice using an electric chopper/ food processor
- In a sauté pan or wok cook the beans and carrots in a few tbsps of coconut milk on medium heat till done, add a dash of fish sauce or to taste, if required add water, and set aside
- Again add a few tbsps of coconut milk in the pan and cook the chicken, stirring in between on medium heat till the chicken is done, adding more coconut milk, if required, and letting the coconut milk to dry up and turn golden brown. Take out and mix with the cooked vegetables
- Add some more coconut milk to the pan and fry the onion paste with the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, the red curry paste, first on high heat and then, when the paste starts to get a bit dry, on low heat for a further two minutes , stirring continuously
- Add the chopped cabbage and a little more coconut milk stirring further
- Add the chicken and vegetables backinto the pan, stir and add the remaining cocnut milk and all the other ingredients except for the Thai basil and cilantro garnish and simmer for further two mintes.
- Switch off heat and add Thai basil and leave covered for a minute, mix
- Serve garnished with cilantro