Thai Red Curry Chicken

I am never happier than with a bowl of curry in front of me. This one has everything I like, colour, spice complex flavours and it doesn’t take an age to prepare. The recipe for the paste (shown above) produces double quantity so you can enjoy this curry again. If, like me you’re using a hand blender instead of a food processor, try not and get a giant splatter of paste directly in your eyeball like I did – spending the next 20 minutes with my face in a bowl of water blinking like a frantic idiot.


For the paste

10-12 Dried red chillies (cayenne)
5 cloves garlic (chopped roughly)
140g shallots (roughly chopped)
1 tablespoon lemongrass (finely sliced)
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 shaving of lime rind (finely chopped)
6-8 roots from some fresh coriander (washed and chopped)
1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
2 tablespoons sweet paprika

Soak the dried chillies in 5 tablespoons boiling water for 1-2 hours then add to a food processor or large bowl (if using a hand blender) with the liquid. Add all the other ingredients and blend until a smooth paste is achieved.

For the curry

3x chicken thighs cut into bitesize pieces
3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
80g snow peas (sugarsnap peas)
1 medium zucchini (sliced)
1 carrot (sliced or cut into thin batons)
1 cup coconut milk

Heat the oil in a wok, and over a medium heat, fry the chicken for 3-4 minutes until just beginnning to brown. Turn up the heat and add the soy sauce and the coconut milk, when sizzling, add half of the paste you made and stir well. When this comes to the boil add 1 cup warm water. Bring to the boil and simmer vigourously for about 10 minutes to reduce the sauce into a creamy consistency. Reduce the heat slightly and add the carrot and zucchini and simmer for 1 minute. Add the peas and simmer for a further minute. Take off the heat and check for salt.

Serve with plain boiled jasmine rice. If you’re feeling showy, then add some chopped cashew nuts and a sprinkle of fresh coriander.

Because you have paste leftover, try the recipe with raw king prawns. Instead of the first step, frying the chicken just go straight to adding coconut milk to a hot pan then the paste. Add the prawns the same time as the zucchini…

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