Thai curry is the spice of life

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The beauty of this recipe is that it can either be made as a curry in a hurry by using a shop bought curry paste or, should you wish, you can take the time to make the deep, rich Thai green curry paste, helping you create an “authentic” dish., writes Alasdair Nunn of Halifax-based caterers RachAls Kitchen. So go on try for yourself.

Serves 6 - Ingredients

750g skinless chicken thighs/breasts groundnut oil

400g shredded mixed oriental mushrooms

1 x 400g tin of light coconut milk

1 chicken stock cube

6 kaffir lime leaves

200g mangetout

Small bunch fresh Thai basil (or coriander if you can’t source this)

2 limes

Curry Paste

4 cloves of garlic

2 roughly chopped shallots

5cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped

2 lemongrass stalks

2-3 medium strength chillies

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1⁄2 a bunch of fresh coriander

2 tablespoons fish sauce

Method

lIf you wish to make this curry in the “authentic” manner peel and roughly chop the garlic and place it in your food processor along with the shallot and ginger. Trim the lemongrass ensuring you remove the tough outer leaves, then finely chop the lemongrass and add to the processor. Add the chillies (holding a few slices back for garnish) along with the cumin and coriander and then blitz until the mixture is very finely chopped. Finally, add fish sauce and blitz again.

lSlice the chicken into thin strips and heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan on a medium heat, add the chicken and fry for approx. 4-5 minutes add the shredded mushrooms and fry for another 4-5 minutes or until the chicken starts to turn light brown. Remove the chicken and mushrooms and set to one side.

lReduce the heat to medium-low and add the curry paste and cook for a further 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the coconut milk and 400ml of boiling water, crumble in the stock cube and add the lime leaves. Turn the heat up and bring to the boil, then simmer for a further 10 minutes.

lStir in the chicken and mushrooms, reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 5 minutes ensuring the chicken is cooked through. Add the mangetout and cook for a final 2 minutes.

lSeason carefully to taste with salt and pepper (noting the fish sauce is salty). lRoughly chop the Thai basil, stir this through and scatter on top of the curry and garnish with the saved chopped chillies. Serve with lime wedges and steamed rice.