This is one of my favourite Thai curries. It’s dead easy to make and I make it with either chicken or king prawns although if cooking with king prawns it will take much less time. Yellow curry paste isn’t easy to find in supermarkets (although I did notice one that’s recently appeared at my local Waitrose from deSiam), so I make my own, inspired by the recipe for it in Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey. I’ve modified his a bit.
To make the yellow curry paste place the following ingredients in a mini food processor and whiz to a fine paste:
- 2 fresh red chillies
- 5 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp lemongrass. I use a Sainsbury’s jar of chopped lemongrass, but if you’re using a whole one, just use one stalk, core finely chopped.
- 1 heaped teaspoon galangal. You could use fresh ginger.
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tsp shrimp paste
- 2 tbsp water to loosen
This will make more than you need. I store the remainder in a plastic container in the fridge. I keep mine for weeks/months, but you need to check when you use it again for signs of deterioration. A quick Google search shows I’m not alone!
To make the tamarind water place half a teaspoon of tamarind paste or concentrate in a bowl and add boiling water. Purists will tell you that tamarind pulp is better, but life’s too short!
To cook heat around a tbsp of oil in a pan and add 2 tbsp of the yellow curry paste and fry for about 30 seconds, before adding the chicken pieces. Fry these in the paste for about 5 minutes before adding the coconut milk. Bring the pan to a simmer, cover and leave simmering for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes simmering bung in some chopped veggies. I had red pepper, courgette and broccoli so I added them. Other veg that would work include sugar snap peas, mangetout, baby sweetcorn, sweet potato cut in to chunks, bamboo shoots, carrots, fine green beans – anything really that you have to hand.
At the same time add 1 tbsp lime juice, a teaspoon of palm sugar, a tablespoon of fish sauce and 2 tbsp of tamarind water.
Bring back to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes, Serve with rice and garnish with chopped Thai basil, coriander or ordinary basil.