Thai food is all about the balance of sweet, sour and heat with the added freshness and aromatic quality of herbs and spices. Add the richness of coconut cream into the mix and you will have the most savoured Thai dish – Thai green curry (kaeng khiao wan), which literally means sweet green curry.
I really recommend using pineapple chunks (from a tin with juice is best) – which sounds strange I know. But in Sri Lanka they use pineapple and jackfruit in curries in place of meat and the texture and juiciness of it is fantastic. The sweetness also goes well with the heat of a chilli. So if you haven’t tried this before, give it a go – we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! And it is a cheap and child friendly option too.
You can add chicken, beef, prawns, fish, tofu or tempeh to this recipe if you wish, but just a nice array of textured veg (see pineapple suggestion above) also work fantastically. This dish is wonderful served in many ways. And I guess this is the point. This recipe is about capturing the delicious balance and freshness of Thai cuisine, but updating it to suit your own preferences.
Ingredients (serves 4):
Thai green curry paste
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 thumb ginger
- 1 kaffir lime leaf
- 2 tbsp lemongrass
- 1-2 green chillies (depending how hot)
- 2 spring onions
- coriander root (washed thoroughly)
- 2 tbsp ev cold-pressed oconut oil
- 1 tbsp fish sauce (use soy sauce and some star anise if you don’t eat fish sauce)
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- salt and white pepper to taste
Thai green curry
- 100g beans
- 1/4 broccoli head and the stalk
- 1 red pepper
- 1/2 juice from one lime
- 1 can coconut cream 400ml
- 200g Tofu (or tempeh, chicken, beef, prawns if you wish)
If you are doing just veggies then we recommend adding the following:
- pineapple chunks (tinned in juice is fine – we recommend washing off fist to reduce sweetness)
- 2 cups jasmine rice
- 1 ½ cups water
- 3 tbs creamed coconut butter (or 100ml coconut cream)
- 2-4 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 tbsp lemongrass
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 pinch salt
Put all of the ingredients for the coconut rice into a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once it is boiling turn the heat down to low and cook for 15 minutes or until the liquid is all evaporated.
In a separate pan fry the cashews in some oil and on a low heat for about ten minutes. Continue to move them about in the pan so they don’t burn. Take them off the heat to crisp up as they cool. Add to the dish to garnish at the last minute to preserve their crunchiness.
Slice the vegetables, tofu or meat into bite sized chunks.
Ground all of the ingredients for the curry paste (preferably in a mortar and pestle as this will extract more flavour by bruising and mushing the ingredients, but a blender will also work ok). Heat a pan with the coconut oil on high heat and add the ground curry paste. Fry for about 3 minutes – until you see the oil separating from the paste.
Add the meat or tofu to the pan and fry in the curry paste until mostly cooked. Add the vegetables and the coconut cream and cook for only a few minutes so that the vegetables remain slightly crunchy and fresh tasting.
Serve the curry with a fresh squeeze of lime and a few coriander leaves.