I’m not claiming total authenticity here, only that it’s a tasty half-way house between grinding your own paste via David Thompson’s book and emptying a jar of gloop into the mix.
Unlike Indian curries which take well to long simmering and steeping, Thai ones seem to benefit from being made at the eleventh hour. I made up a huge batch of this for a later in the day party and it was fine, but, to me, it lacked the oomph and zing of the version I cook on a Friday night for immediate consumption.
Not sure if I should bung the five spice in but it seems to taste marginally better if I do.
If you are a heat-freak you could bung up the quantity of chillies.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1-2 tsp five (or seven) spice powder
1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
1 tsp coriander seeds, ground (or 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves)
1 onion, chopped
1 thumbnail-sized piece of fresh galangal or ginger, chopped
1 blade lemon grass, finely sliced
1 small red chilli (seeds in or not, to taste) finely chopped
1 yellow pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced
1 aubergine, sliced and chopped into 15cm cubes or 200g pea aubergines, whole
2-3 dtsp Thai green curry paste
1 large free range chicken skinned and jointed
1 large fillet of pork, thinly sliced across the grain
4 chicken breasts, skinned and sliced
400g peeled prawns or any combination of the above
150g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tins coconut milk
1 tsp Nam Pla (Thai fish sauce)
2 tsp soy sauce
4-5 kaffir lime leaves
200g sugar snap peas, whole
zest and juice of a lime
In a large pan, heat the vegetable oil and fry the 5 spice, cumin and coriander for a minute before adding the onion, ginger, lemon grass, chilli, pepper and aubergine. Stir-fry them in the oil for 2 minutes then stir in the curry paste. Add the meat (unless you are using cooked prawns) and stir to coat with the paste, then add the mushrooms. Cook for a further 2 minutes then add the coconut milk, the fish/soy sauce and the lime leaves. Allow to simmer over a low heat for approx 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. After ten minutes add the sugar snap peas (and the prawns, if using). Remove from heat when the sugar snaps are cooked through but still crunchy, add the lime juice and zest and serve with plain boiled basmati or Thai fragrant rice.