When you want something delicious and comforting, as good as a takeaway, but without spending a million years in the kitchen, it’s hard to beat a good old green Thai curry. Or any Thai curry for that matter! It’s so quick to make – easily done in 20 minutes or so – and as a bonus, it’s naturally gluten free. 🙂
Use a good quality curry paste!
Preferably an authentic one from Asia. Unfortunately a lot of curry paste in mainstream supermarkets are not very good, full of unecessary ingredients and weak in flavour. By far the most important thing to make good curries at home is sourcing a good quality paste (or learning to make it yourself). At the moment I’m really liking the brand Samui which I found in my local Chinese supermarket.
If you don’t have access to Thai eggplants
While they’re very easy to find here in London, I know that sourcing Thai eggplants (at least here in the UK) is a whole other story outside of the city!
So if you can’t get your hands on any, you can use aubergines or courgette (zucchini). The flavour isn’t quite the same, but the texture is similar.
Interestingly, I also had a delicious curry at a Thai restaurant a while back that used cucumber instead of Thai eggplants. It surprisingly worked really well.
You can play around and have fun with the ingredients
Don’t feel like you have to stick to the exact authentic recipe each time. In reality, I never make my green Thai curries exactly the same. Sometimes I use bell peppers instead of eggplants. Sometimes green beans and water chestnuts. Or any vegetable I have leftover in the fridge. Feel free to experiment. As long as the core ingredients are there, Thai curries are never boring. 🙂
And feel free to use other Thai curry pastes and protein sources too.
The same applies to fresh herbs / if you can’t find Thai basil
Fresh Thai basil isn’t always easy to find here in the UK, so while it’s certainly delicious in Thai curries, you can also opt for fresh coriander. It’s a different taste altogether, but it works just as well in its own way. Some also say Italian basil with a touch of mint is a good substitute, but I’ve never tried it myself.
You can enhance the flavour with extra bits and bobs
Like fresh lemon grass, a few kaffir lime leaves (also knows as makrut), garlic, onion, ginger or some extra coconut cream. Using only paste to flavour a curry is perfectly acceptable for a quick meal. But if you want an even better flavour and have a little time on your hands, then it’s well worth adding more to it.
If you want to cut down the calories
Thai curries are healthy and nutritious, but they do come with quite a caloric ‘price tag’. Well over 600 calories per portion and that’s excluding the rice. There’s no reason why this can’t fit within a balanced diet, but if you’re watching your calorie intake or trying to lose weight, that can be a problem. You don’t necessarily have to do away with curries altogether though. 😉
The biggest culprit is coconut milk which, just by itself, accounts for 250 to 300 of these calories per portion. One way to cut this down massively is to replace half of the coconut milk for chicken stock or a coconut based dairy free milk (like Koko Dairy Free) which are much lower in calories.
Another trick I like is to replace some of the chicken by water chestnuts. They’re low in calories, but still have a nice bite to them and they’re delicious in curries.
You can also use less oil.
- 1 Tbsp (15g) coconut oil (or cooking oil of your choice)
- 1 heaped Tbsp Thai green curry paste (I used Samui)
- 300 to 350g coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 heaped tsp sugar
- 250g chicken breast
- 6 Thai eggplants (185g)
- 1 fresh red chilli
- Half a lime
- A handful of fresh Thai basil (or alternative - see tips above)
- Optional: extra bits and bobs for more flavour (see tips above)
- Rice (ideally jasmine)
FOR THE CURRY:
- Cut the Thai eggplants into quarters and finely slice the fresh chilli.
- Thinly slice the chicken.
- Heat up a tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan on medium/low heat and fry the curry paste briefly (for a minute or so).
- Then add just a bit of the coconut milk and mix with the paste, enough to water it down a little.
- Add the chicken and cook for a few minutes, long enough to sear it.
- Add the rest of the coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar and simmer for 5 minutes or so.
- Then add the Thai eggplants and simmer for another 10 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked and the eggplants have softened up. Note: keep adding a bit of water during this process, if the sauce reduces too much. Thai curries are supposed to be fairly watery! 🙂
- Turn the heat off and stir in the fresh chillies and Thai basil.
- Serve your green Thai curry with freshly squeezed lime juice on top (a quarter of a lime per portion) and rice (ideally jasmine).
FOR THE RICE:
- Place 1 cup of uncooked white rice in a small saucepan.
- Add 1.5 cup of water and a dash of salt.
- Place a lid on top, turn the heat on to high and bring to a boil.
- As soon as the water reaches boiling point, turn the heat down to the lowest setting.
- Once the rice has absorbed all the water, turn the heat off completely, give the pan a little shake to loosen the rice and let it sit for a few more minutes. Note: this process should take 15 to 20 minutes all in all.
Hope you like it. 🙂