I used to love going to Chinatown on warm Brisbane evenings for a deliciously spicy Thai Green Curry, sitting in the lovely outdoor setting of Thai Wi Rat. When we moved to Cambridge we discovered local Thai restaurant Sala Thong but found that eating out in the UK is a little pricey. So we started making our own green curries at home but with bought curry paste. When we could find curry paste that didn't contain shrimp paste, it just didn't have the same limey, fresh flavour of the green curries in restaurants. So we started making our own curry paste and we've not looked back.
Below is a recipe for the curry paste and then a recipe for making the green curry. The only thing to be wary of is that Thai curries use a lot of coconut milk and can be quite fatty and thus unhealthy if eaten regularly. If fat content is an issue for you, try some light coconut milk instead. If this still isn't right for you, try adding more vegies and using a mix of half vegie stock, half light coconut milk.
Thai Green Curry Paste
6 medium green chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
5cm/2in piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
small bunch of fresh coriander
2 lemongrass stalks, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp grated galangal
1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp black pepper (preferably from peppercorns)
2 tsp soy sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
Put all ingredients into a food processor or blend and blend until a smooth paste.
This recipe is enough for about 6-8 servings. You can use it straight away, store it in a fridge for up to 3 weeks or it even freezes OK.
Vegetable and Tofu Thai Green Curry
1/2 serving of above curry paste
1 tbsp vegetable oil (preferably sesame)
1 brown onion
1 cup green beans, chopped into 2.5cm pieces
1 carrot, sliced
1 bunch of Asian vegie (pak choi, bok choi etc), roughly chopped, leaves and ends separated
400ml coconut milk
300g firm tofu, cut into 1cm blocks
225g can bamboo shoots, drained
1 tbsp dark brown sugar (or palm sugar)
juice of 1 lime
coriander for garnish
Heat the oil in a hot wok and add onion and cook for a few minutes until it begins to soften. Add curry paste and stir for another minute. Add all of the vegies excluding the Asian vegie leaves and bamboo shoots. Add coconut milk and watch until it is about to boil.
Just before the coconut boils, lower the heat to a simmer. Add the sugar, bamboo shoots and tofu and let simmer until vegies are just about cooked. Then add lime juice.
Serve over rice (preferably jasmine although we prefer brown basmati).Garnish with coriander.