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Thai Green Curry with prawns

By November 24, 2017 , ,

This is a favourite chez Kitchen Exile and has been for many years. I used to make the curry using a ready made paste but ever since my trip to Thailand and a visit to Chiang Mai Thai cookery school, I've been making the paste from scratch. That's not to say that ready made pastes are a bad thing, there are some good brands out there. 


This way I can make the quantities that I want and then freeze or preserve in oil until such time as I need them. I don't just use them in curries but also blend them with chicken thighs and coriander leaves to make Asian style chicken balls or blend with white fish to make Thai fish cakes.

I haven't digressed much from the original paste recipe I learned at the cookery school all those years ago, its a tried and tested recipe so why change it, just a small tweak in the number of chillies, (I use about 20 less). I love the simplicity of Thai food, but at the same time the depth of flavour is quite complex. So getting the flavour just right is an art form in itself. You can also find the paste recipe in a "Passion for Thai Cooking" by Sampon and Elizabeth Nabnian. 

Dry ingredients
5g coriander seeds 
5g cumin seeds
2g black peppercorns

Fresh ingredients
10g fresh ginger or galangal grated
4 sticks lemongrass grated
10 lime leaves
30g coriander root
4 shallots, peeled
4 cloves of garlic peeled
5g shrimp paste
4 green chillies (or you can use birds eye chillies if you want more heat)
50g Thai basil, if you cannot get this then use normal basil
10g fresh turmeric grated (this stains very easily, so wear gloves when using and avoid porous surfaces)

Roast the dry ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan for 5 minutes and then grind into a fine powder
Place all the fresh ingredients including the ground spices in a food processor and blend until you have a paste
You can also place these in a mortar and pestle if you wish and grind that way, its the more traditional approach, but I find for larger amounts, the food processor is much easier
You can store the paste in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for a couple of months

Curry
50g curry paste
10g chopped coriander leaves for garnish
Juice of one lime
200ml coconut milk
10ml fish sauce
5g palm sugar
1 green chilli chopped
20 large raw prawns
10 Thai basil leaves
5 lime leaves
10 ml oil for frying

In a wok or heavy based pan add the oil and curry paste and fry on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes
Next add the coconut milk, chilli and lime leaves and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes
Add the prawns and cook for 5 minutes until they have changed to a nice pink colour
To finish stir through the lime juice, Thai basil and palm sugar

For those making this with their Magimix cook Expert
Add the paste and some oil and cook for 5 mins at 95c speed 2A
Add the chilli, lime leaves and coconut milk and switch speed to 1A 95c for a further 10 minutes
Switch speed to 0 and add the prawns and cook for a further 5 mins
To finish stir through the lime juice, Thai basil and palm sugar

If you like you can add your own vegetable of choice to bulk out the curry, just add the veg after you add the coconut milk
Garnish with the coriander and serve with steamed rice


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