I have had a request for a Red Thai Curry recipe this week.
The secret (and all of the effort) to any curry is, of course, the paste. If you can access the long list of ingredients to pound together to make the paste (and fancy an arm work out) you will need: 5 dried chillies, 1tsp salt, 1tbsp galangal (or ginger) sliced, 2 lemon grass stalks (sliced), 1 tsp lime zest, 2 tsps coriander root (sliced), 10 garlic cloves, half shallot (sliced), 1tbsp roasted coriander seeds, 1 tbsp roasted cumin seeds and 1tsp shrimp paste.
Dry fry the coriander and cumin seeds then put everything in a mortar and pestle (or a mini blender will do the job pretty well) and blend/pound to a fine paste.
This will make approximately 125ml of paste which is about enough for curry for 8. If you are going to the bother of making your own paste, I would highly recommend that you double or treble the quantities because the paste will keep for 4-8 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer.
Alternatively, if you are tight on time or don’t have access to the specialist ingredients, there are some really good ready made pastes available. I especially like the Thai Taste brand.
When you have made your red curry paste, you have the base of your curry so you just need to decide what you are going to use as the protein or vegetables. Salmon, prawns, chicken, beef, sweet potato, butternut squash, aubergine ….
Next you will need the essential Thai ingredients of coconut milk (1 x 400ml tin for 4), fish sauce (2 tbsps for 4), palm sugar (2 tsps for 4) (soft brown sugar is a good substitute).
Heat little oil in a saucepan over a high heat. Add the 1 tablespoon of curry paste per person and stir fry for a few seconds to release the flavours. Reduce the heat, add the coconut milk, the sugar, fish sauce and season with a little salt. Add your choice of meat or vegetables and cook over a medium heat until the meat/vegetables are cooked through. Check and adjust and balance the seasoning with fish sauce and sugar as needed. Serve with rice.