You can get very good shop bought Thai curry pastes these days, but there is nothing more satisfying than making your own from scratch. The aroma alone makes it worth it, it almost stings your nostrils it is so fresh and zingy.
We try not to eat meat every day but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have the same dishes and replace your protein with beautiful vegetables. Using lots of vegetables in this dish gives different textures which I sometimes find vegetarian food lacks.
First of all the curry paste. This one takes a little bit of time but I make double the amount and freeze half so that if we want a last minute curry then I have the paste in the freezer. Then all you need is a tin of coconut milk in the cupboard and a few pieces of veg and chicken or any other protein that is a quick mid week supper sorted.
Thai curry paste
4 tsp cumin seeds
4 tsp coriander seeds
1-2 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 lemon grass stalks (ends and outer leaves removed)
6 cm piece of ginger (grated)
4 garlic cloves
1 lime (zest and juice)
2 shallots or small white onion
3 tbs fish sauce
Half bunch fresh corriander
Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a frying pan on a low heat with no oil. Shake the pan and do this till the seeds are warm and fragrant.
Put the lime juice and zest, fresh coriander, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, salt, shallots and fish sauce into a food processor or strong blender and blitz till a paste. Crush the seeds in a pestle and mortar and combine with the paste.
The paste should be slightly wet and very fragrant, almost eye watering so don’t stick your nose too near. Keep half of this paste out and put the other half into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months or keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Aubergine and Sweet potato Thai green curry
Ingredients: (Serves 6)
2 large aubergine
1 large red pepper
1 large sweet potato
handful green beans topped and tailed
handful chopped up coriander
2 tins coconut milk
tsp corn flour
In a large saucepan/ deep frying pan heat a little coconut oil or vegetable oil and add your Thai paste and cook through , stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes. Add the coconut milk, a little to begin with and mix through then the rest and allow to bubble away then add a teaspoon of sugar. Take a teaspoon of cornflour in a separate bowl and remove a little liquid of the curry and mix till a paste and add back into the curry and cook (this will help the coconut milk thicken slightly).
Chop up your aubergine into chunks and put into the saucepan along with the coconut milk and curry paste. Place a lid on the top and let it simmer giving a stir occasionally to cover the aubergine in the sauce. While this is cooking, peel the sweet potato and chop into similar sized chunks to the aubergine and steam till soft. Roughly chop up a large red pepper and a handful of green beans. Place the green beans in with the aubergine (which should have been cooking around 15 minutes) and continue to simmer for a further 10 minutes then add the pepper and cooked sweet potato for 5-10 minutes until tender.
Taste the sauce and you may want to add an extra squeeze of lime or splash of soy sauce to taste. Serve on a bed of brown rice and top with freshly chopped coriander and extra chills if you like this spicy!