One of the most pleasurable moments of my day is to see no grumble bunnies around my dinner table. On the rare occasions when this happens it is simply bliss. I feel I have achieved the unachievable. I can’t really obsess over the fact that my kids don’t like Indian food. They have lived all their lives practically outside India and much that they may love going back for a holiday to enjoy the company of their cousins and grandparents and the balmy evenings and the carefree days spent playing to their hearts content, Somehow like most Aussies their palate craves for a mild Thai Green curry chicken. I would dare say the ubiquitous Butter chicken would come a distant second, the infinite Indian fare would be easily forgone for a Thai curry.
I suppose the sweetness of the coconut milk infused with Kaffir lime leaves and the Thai basil make such a heady concoction of gastronomical proportions that tantalises their little taste buds to make them eat with their heads down slurping the curry nosily and often asking for a second helping of the accompanied Jasmine white rice. I often find this sharp contrast a really welcome change from trying to please their fastidious taste buds most evenings.
I remember, my first experience in savouring this wonderful blend of curry during our stay in Tokyo a decade and a half back. Initially I had a tough time adjusting my taste buds to Japanese cuisine and savouring this curry and rice was bliss to me. It was the closest I could find to an Indian curry back then.
My Taste buds have adapted, times have changed …though I still enjoy a good Thai curry, my love for Japanese cuisines has grown a thousandfold .Their mild broths and flavours are really something I often crave. Those beautiful and precious memories remain permanently etched.
Coming back to the Thai curry, I was always keen to make the paste from scratch and during our recent visit to Thailand I had an fantastic opportunity to learn it from the real chefs and I regret missing out on their curry cooking classes simply owing to a bit of lethargy on my part.
But lucky me just a few days back I picked up this beautiful book that emphasises on CleanlivingFastFood and of course heathy eating where I found an adapted recipe for Thai curry. Well, when the ready made pastes are easily available, why would you think of making it from Scratch….. I have realised that the ready made pastes are high on salt, chillies and the added fish sauces doesn’t really suits our palate.
I have made it couple of times, once with vegetables & tofu and other with chicken & vegetable. They both were delectable.
- For the paste
- 2 or more green chillies
- 6 spring onions chopped
- 2 stalk lemon grass chopped ( white part only)
- 3 to 4 cloves of garlic
- 5 cm fresh ginger chopped
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 bunch fresh coriander leaves and roots chopped
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- sea salt
- Blend all the above ingredients in a food processor using ⅓ cup of water and process until smooth paste.
- To make the curry
- 1 can ( 400 ml ) coconut milk
- 500g chicken thigh fillet diced or 1 cup tofu diced
- 5 to 6 kaffir leaves
- 2 cups chopped vegetables ( red capsicum, mushrooms, baby corn, zucchini and broccolini)
- ½ cup Thai basil leaves
- 1 tbsp oil
- Heat oil in a sauce pan.Add the curry paste, stir for couple of minutes and add ¼ cup coconut milk. Stir in chicken or tofu and kaffir leaves. Cook for few minutes until slightly done. Add the chopped vegetables, rest of coconut milk and water if needed.
- Cover and simmer and stirring it occasionally until done. Remove the pan from heat and stir through the basil leaves. Serve hot with white rice.