Monday, 22 April 2013

Thai Green Curry

mmmm... Thai Green Curry.  I had never tried this before until my flatmate made it for me, and now I am hooked.  At the moment at the Mangere markets you can find fresh lemongrass, fresh limes, and chilli's.  Limes at the market are only $6 per kg, as opposed to $26 in the supermarkets.  Limes don't come into season very often, so I am making the most of them on my Saturday morning forays to the market.  And with the discovery of fresh lemongrass at one of the stalls as well... I get the feeling that there are some exciting times to be had in my kitchen this week.

Thai Green Curry       (not from a recipe book this time)

I haven't provided amounts as it depends on how much you are making and how flavourful you want it.    Use whatever you think is appropriate.  I can't eat overly spicy foods or hot foods, and while it looks like there are a lot of chilli's in the dish, using them whole like this provides flavour without too much heat. (Just make sure you don't accidentally bite into one!)

1 packet tofu
1 can bamboo shoots
green curry paste
400ml coconut cream

You can also put in any greens on hand, baby corn, carrots, tomatoes, spring onions, and star anise. Likewise you can omit the kumara, but it adds a lovely sweetness to the curry. You also don't need the tofu; this is the first time I put in tofu - I wanted to add in some protein.  I have used paneer cheese before too, which is nice.  You can use whole chillies and just pull them out later so you don't accidentally eat them.  This saves you both time slicing and deseeding chillies and it saves getting your fingers covered in chilli.

 Pat the tofu dry and chop up.
To prepare lemongrass, remove the top woody section; halve the lemongrass lengthways; then use something hefty to smash it.  This helps to release the lemongrassiness of the lemongrass.  (Note that you don't actually eat the lemongrass, but you want to impart the flavour into the dish.) 
Chop up the limes into small wedges.
 Heat oil in a large frypan.  Add grated ginger, garlic, whole chillies, stalks of lemongrass, star anise.  Squeeze some of the limes into the pan to impart the lime juice and add the skins; add the remainder of the lime wedges.   Fry for 5-7 minutes until everything becomes fragrant.

Drain the bamboo shoots and add to the fry pan.

 Tofu can either be added straight to the pan, or fried first to crisp up the outside. Either fry tofu in a separate pan, or simply push the spices to one side, add the tofu and fry until golden, turning over (tongs make this easy) to cook evenly.  
 Add a large dollop of green curry paste.
 Add sliced kumara, chopped capsicum and any other vegetables you are using.
 Add the can of coconut cream.  Half fill the empty can with water and add this too, to make the sauce liquidy.
 Stir every now and then.
While the kumara is cooking (about 12 minutes), cook the rice until just tender; drain.
 When the kumara is cooked, it is ready to serve.  If plating up in a bowl, put the rice in the bottom of the bowl and serve the curry over the top.  If serving on a plate, you may like to serve the rice on one side and the curry beside it.  
 Watch out for whole chillies! you may like to provide a small plate to put in the bits of lime, chilli's and the lemongrass stalks.  You can suck on the lemongrass stalks and the lime wedges before discarding as they contain plenty of flavour.

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