Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Amanda'a Thai Red Curry chicken

There is a couple ways of doing this, the cheats way, or the more satisfying way make it from scratch, which I prefer if I have the time and can get hold of all the ingredients, if you are going to do it the cheats way please buy a jar of red curry paste from an Asian store, and not the supermarket .
How to make your own red curry paste
what you need: 
  • 10 large dried red chillies (see notes)
  • 4 coriander roots,roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves,stems removed, roughly chopped
  • 2 red eschalots, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoons grated galangal (see notes),or ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fresh turmeric (see notes), finely chopped ( I just use ground powder}
  • 1 tablespoon chopped lemon grass
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste (see notes)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
 What to do:
 1: Soak the chillies
Start by soaking the chillies in warm water for 10 minutes. Once finished, drain, roughly chop and place in a mortar and pestle.
2: Pound it up
Place all the remaining ingredients in the mortar and pestle and pound together until you have a rough paste.
3: Blend together
Add a tablespoon of water to the mortar and pestle and pound to blend until you have a smooth paste. Alternatively,at this point use a food processor or handheld stick blender and blend to a smooth paste. Make sure there are no stringy pieces in the paste.
 4: Store it well
The final curry paste will have a deep red colour and no lumps or stringy pieces. Transfer to a sterilized glass jar and either use immediately or store in the fridge for later.will last up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Now to make your curry Chicken:
To turn it into an authentic red chicken curry, Heat a wok with a little sunflower oil, add a finely sliced chicken breast ,cook until just cooked then remove, fry 3 tablespoons ( I usually use the whole jar about 210g) of the paste for a couple minutes ( I also add a couple small red chopped chillies as well, I like it hot). Add about 1/2 a tin of coconut cream, 200 ml chicken stock and your choice of veggies, ( I love frozen beans and julienne carrots and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, add chicken. Stir in 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 1 tablespoons lime juice and 2 teaspoons grated palm sugar ( you can use raw sugar) and the rest of the coconut cream  then garnish with finely sliced kaffir lime leaves and Thai basil leaves and serve with either boiled Jasmine rice, or yellow rice, to make yellow rice just add turmeric to the rice while cooking, it's good for you and a much cheaper alternative to is some added notes; in reference to the spices,
Notes:Dried red chillies: try to find Thai dried red chillies as these have little heat and will give a wonderful red colour to your paste. If unavailable, opt for the largest dried chillies you can find, as these are less likely to have the same amount of heat as their smaller counterparts.
Galangal: this very fragrant root is related to ginger, but has a hot,clean taste that gives this curry its signature zing. It is available from Asian grocers and specialty vegetable stores. Store it in a cool dark place and use it within two weeks.
Turmeric: this vibrant root adds both colour and flavour to a dish. However, use it in small quantities, as it can be bitter. Available from Asian grocers, store it in a cool dark place and use within two weeks. If unavailable substitute it with one teaspoon of ground turmeric.
Shrimp paste: also known as belacan,this paste is sold in small tubs or blocks and is available at Asian grocers. It has a pungent aroma and, after opening, should be stored in a well-sealed container in the fridge. If stored correctly it will last for months.
Amanda's Thai Red  Curry Chicken

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