With the World Cup drawing closer it definitely works up an appetite, considering some cosy recipes from around the world to accompany the games. Classic comfort food from Italy, Spain and beyond, simply tickles my taste buds. I’m considering a Thai Green Curry but without the coconut milk, it’s lighter, refreshing and easier to digest without feeling sluggish.
No matter what I’m planning, be it a one-pot wonder or a generous plate of spaghetti. Green curry with or without coconut milk is one of my favourite Thai dishes and my ideal comfort food that I learnt to cook in Thailand in a small shack. It has a hint of sweetness followed through with spice and the perfect dish for many of us who believe that hot and spicy food is a great way to cool off in the British summer. Making this curry from scratch is super easy and can seem a daunting prospect if you are cooking it for the first time. This is a dish you can put on the table in under an hour, which actually isn’t as complicated as you might think.
Serves 4 (accompanied by Thai fragrant Jasmine rice)
2 generous sized chicken thighs, skinned
2 large corn fed chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1 small aubergine, cut into small pieces
1 medium red pepper, roasted and peeled
2 large spring onions, thinly sliced
130 grams tinned or frozen peas
4 heaped tablespoons ready-made green curry paste (or home-made, see recipe below)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 litres, chicken stock
½ pint skimmed milk
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Firstly place the red pepper in the centre of a non-stick oven proof tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on a middle shelf in the oven and roast for about 50 minutes to an hour at 200˚C/ 400 ˚F/ Gas mark 6.
Meanwhile, heat the olive and sesame oil in a large heavy pot, over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the spring onions, and gently soften for about 15-20 minutes.
Next add the curry paste, (if you are in the mood for a tongue-tingling sensation, use the entire paste if it is home-made). Gently cook the paste for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the milk and simmer for about 3-5 minutes until the oil starts to separate and rise to the top, forming small beads of oil. Add the chicken and aubergine and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and reduce the heat to a low medium and simmer for about 25 minutes, with the lid placed on top.
After 25 minutes add the peas and sugar and simmer until tender (roughly 5 minutes) and set aside to rest.
When the pepper is roasted, allow to cool and carefully peel off the skin. Tear into thin strips and gently stir into the Thai green chicken curry.
Serve with Thai fragrant Jasmine rice. This dish is fantastically versatile and can be made the night before and reheated the next day.
Green Curry Paste Shopping List:
5 large green chillies, roughly chopped
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
6 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
10 grams/a generous handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped (stalks and roots included)
2 tablespoons lemongrass purée or 2 lemongrass stalks, roughly chopped
1 fresh lime juice
2 fresh lime zest
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon dry roasted coriander seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon dry roasted cumin seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Place all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz away until a fine purée.