Sunday, April 29, 2007

Thai Red curry

I have previously blogged about how much I love Thai food especially their red and green curries. I am a reluctant cook but when I do cook, I absolutely love cooking from scratch as the entire exercise is very therapeutic for me. I hate buying readymade sauces and curry pastes.
Anyway I made the red curry at home and modified the recipe a little for our Indian palate. It turned out quite well and hasn’t lost its original flavor therefore I am sharing the recipe with you.

1 ½ lbs boneless chicken cut into thin slices

1 cup finely chopped lemon grass (I couldn’t find lemon grass hence opted for the extract that I found in the supermarket. It is the closest that you can get to the fresh ones. I cannot stand dried lemon grass. I used about half the tube as seen the image)

2 onions finely chopped

1-2 green bell peppers

½ tomato, cut into bite-size pieces

1 Japanese eggplant or 2-3 baby eggplants, chopped (leave skin on)

2 cans of coconut milk

1 tsp tamarind

As I couldn't find Thai basil or lemon grass, I used the above versions. It has not compromised the flavor or taste of the curry.

Marinate the chicken with thai basil readymade marinade, juice of one-half lemon and salt. Leave it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This is not necessary but I prefer marinating meat to neutralize any odor.

1/2 can coconut milk (reserve the other 1/2 can for later)

1 medium sized cooking onion, quartered

1 thumb-size piece ginger

3 cloves garlic

3 Tbsp. fish sauce (I used Oyster sauce)

1 Tbsp. chilli powder

1 Tbsp. cumin seeds

1 Tbsp. coriander seeds

2 tsp. shrimp paste (I didn’t have this at home so didn’t add it. My experience has been that it does not compromise the flavor at all)

1 tsp. regular dried chilli flakes (I avoided it because neither K nor I can tolerate much hot peppers in our food)

5-6 peppercorns

1-2 tb sp fennel seeds (I couldn’t find thai basil therefore added this, as the difference between regular basil leaves and Thai is that the latter has fennel like taste. A friend of ours, who is a chef in a five-star hotel in India has recommended this to me years ago)

1 Star Anise

1 Cup fresh basil leaves (I couldn’t get Thai basil)

Grind them to a fine paste. I have a grinder for my spices. If you don’t then you could use a coffee bean grinder OR buy powdered version instead of the whole seeds.


I took this picture, as you can see I don't have patience for presentation. Since I went very easy on the red chilli powder, it is not as red as it otherwise would be.

Heat oil in a Wok and add asafetida (excellent digestive and I cannot make any curry without it). Fry the finely chopped onions till they become colorless. Add the red curry paste and the lemon grass and sauté it. Add the vegetables and the chicken and sauté it very well. Add ½ cup of water and leave it to simmer. After about ten minutes, add the coconut milk and the tamarind paste. It takes about 20 minutes to cook the chicken.

Serve it with jasmine rice. Of course we didn't have that but instead used the very aromatic Basmati rice.

We had mangoes with vanilla ice cream for dessert.


Hamster said...

Don't know if you've seen this already but if not Yu might be interested in this website.
It's got about 30 recipes each one with a cooking video to go along
Good if you like to try cooking Thai food at home

Asha said...

Ooh! Recipe!:))
I love the red curry recipe from scratch.The only thing I don't like to add is fish sauce it requires.Otherwise,I LOVE Thai curry.

To make anything red without the heat is to use either sweet paprika or a Mexican spice called Annatto pd or Achiote for brilliant red.

Go to my recipe Index,"non-Veg".and look for "Arroz Con Pollo" for more info about Annatto.You will love it:))

Sai said...

Hi Hamster:

Thanks for commenting and sharing the link. I did not know about this website. I will most certainly add it to my favorites.

Hey Asha:

Thanks for the tip. I will most certainly check your blog.

Beenzzz said...

That looks wonderful! I'm going to try this recipe.

Anali said...

Yum food! It's so cool to see food and recipes where I'm not expecting it! The dessert sounds great too. I was wondering if you ever paint pictures of food?

Fuzzylogic said...

Wow!I love thai red curry. Maybe will try your recipe when I get another thai curry craving:)

vishakha said...

hi saiee,
the thai curry looks delicious must try this weekend.vishakha

Sugarlips said...

MmmmmmmMMmmm....I love Thai food and recepie sounds delicious...Thanks for sharing the recepie...would love to try sometime soon :)

Stay Beautiful...!

Lulu (Dan's cat) said...

I don't like spicy food ... probably because I'm a damned cat.

But I'm going to pass this one on to my dad. He eats lots of interesting food. And feeds me the same old crap day in and day out.


Annitya said...

I usually just follow the instructions written at the cane of curry paste while cooking thai food.

Lotus Reads said...

Sai, I love Indian food but Thai cuisine comes a very close second! I have made a Thai red curry with Red snapper but the curry paste came from a jar...have never tried making it from scratch. I think you did a remarkable job on the curry and mango for dessert was a perfect choice. Did you drink wine with your meal? I don't pretend to know much about wines, but I am told the "Gewurztraminer" is a particularly good choice for Indian and Thai curries.

Thanks for the recipe Sai, I'm sure it tasted fantastic!

Sanjay said...

You made Thai red curry from scratch? Wow! I have used the paste before, and this recipe looks yummy!