Thai Green Chicken Curry

I have not experienced the best week.  One terribly frustrating announcement after another; one irritating lapse of memory after another resulting in one major mothering failure; one broken and apparently unfixable bathplug, please don’t even get me started on that ; and far too much precious writing time hijacked by mundane chores that simply could not wait.  It’s been the kind of week that makes me say uurrgghhh a lot. I am so tired.  And now my moan is over.

To add to my week the weather has been unseasonably warm.  Glorious, in fact.  Now in a normal week this would be a good thing.  Normally.  You see what happens around here on a glorious warm afternoon, especially when the sun is going down a bit later is that my kiddo’s disappear into the estate to find friends to play with.  As there are generally children all over our ‘hood this is not very hard to do.  I can usually snap up an extra forty five minutes in the late afternoon to catch up on some work, while the kids play hide and go seek on three different front lawns, or toss balls to each other in the street.

Handsome, my sweet boy, is driven by his stomach and usually sweeps the kitchen cupboards at about 530pm. You could set your watch by him as every day at about this time he selects the question “What can I have?” and puts it on repeat.  I know to hustle getting dinner on the go as this kiddo can drive you nuts when he is hungry.

What happened this week then was this: I was trying to cram one hundred more things in before the day’s end; the kiddos were out of the house; Handsome turned traitor on his appetite and apparently ignored it; Handsome did not sound the “what can I have” alarm and ergo, I forgot to make dinner.  Not once friend, but twice.  In the same week!  Obviously I am up for Homemaker of the Year Award 2013.

On both those occasions, once I finally noticed that it is was in fact dark outside, I called in my kiddos, ran the shower since the bath now has no plug – see above – put those sweaty dirty little lyfies in it and dashed to the kitchen with just on twenty minutes grace to get something on the table.

Thai Green Chicken Curry saved me.  This recipe is a kitchen standby for us.  My kiddos love it and eat it with gusto.  Each time I make it though I add a little bit more Thai green curry paste to up the heat.  By my calculations it will only take another twenty or so more batches to get them up to the fire enjoyed by Dear Husband.  Once you have the curry paste on hand, it’s an easy 1-2-3 kind of dinner, so my advice would be to double up when you make the paste as it will keep well if stored correctly, and can also be frozen.

There are no carrots in this recipe, the orangy bits are actually sweet potato as I love orange sweet potatoes, also know as kumara or yams.

I have made a few modifications to the original recipe which I found in the book Café Food at Home by Gael Oberholzer.  I changed some of the given amounts  and I left some things out of the recipe like the shrimp paste and lime leaves.  This is mostly because I don’t usually have these ingredients in my pantry but also because the recipe works well enough for me without them, and as you know I am no purist.  I also add just chicken fillets and not many other vegetables as Gael does simply because this is a quick fix dinner for me.

A bit about the book. I bought this book back in 2002 the year it was first published by Struik.  In preparing this post I was dismayed to find that this book is no longer available for purchase on-line, which is a great pity, as this book is one that I have literally used over and over again.  I think that I have made just about everything in it over the years.  Gael’s recipes are still in my opinion fresh and relevant some ten years later. There is currently another book in print also called Café food at Home but authored by Evan Faull, which although equally wonderful, is not the book that I am crediting with this recipe.

The moral of my story today: always keep some homemade Thai green chicken curry paste in your refrigerator and a can of coconut milk in your pantry for when you are having one of those kind of days. The End.

Before we cook, please keep remembering to pop over to Freshly Blogged to vote for my new recipe.  This past week I cooked with pilchards and you can view my recipe here.  I am having a fun time over on Twitter meeting the other Freshly Blogged bloggers.  Follow me and join the chat, my twitter handle is obviously @pomegranatedays.

What you need

Thai green curry paste
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
Vegetable oil
10 fresh chillies, seeded and chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, finely chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 blades lemongrass, chopped
Large handful of fresh coriander, chopped
½ tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. salt

Green curry sauce
1 tsp. oil
3-5 Tbsp. green curry paste (better to start with less and add more if you can take it)
1 can coconut milk
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and grated
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Basil pesto
Few drops of fish sauce (literally 2-3)
Few drops of soy sauce literally 2-3)
4 deboned, skinless chicken breasts, evenly cubed
Salt to taste.
1 packet Udon noodles, prepared as per packet instructions
Fresh coriander, washed roughly chopped

What you do

  1. To make the paste, roast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry pan for a few minutes until you start to get an aroma off them.
  2. Cool and crush in a more and pestle.
  3. Place a little oil in the pan and fry the chillies, ginger, spring onions garlic and lemon grass.
  4. Add the crushed seeds, the coriander, the turmeric and the salt and stir together.
  5. Place the mixture into a blender and adding as much oil as necessary, process to a paste.
  6. Set aside.
  7. Heat the oil in a pot and add the curry paste.
  8. Stir fry for one minute and then add the coconut milk.
  9. Bring the sauce to a high heat without boiling and add the sweet potato.
  10. Simmer for about ten minutes until the sweet potato is cooked through.  The sauce will thicken a little.
  11. Season with the lemon juice, pesto, fish and soy sauces.
  12. Add the chicken cubes and stir.
  13. Simmer for a further ten minutes until the chicken is cooked.
  14. Season to taste with salt.
  15. Serve with noodles and the fresh coriander.

1 Comment on Thai Green Chicken Curry

  1. Kit
    August 11, 2013 at 6:28 pm (6 years ago)

    Those days happen fairly regularly here too – chicken fillet is definitely one of those last minute life-savers. Otherwise it’s pasta again.
    Must try my kids on Thai curry again, haven’t done it in a long time and I’m sure it’ll go down pretty well.


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