As far as curries go, I love Thai curries. In Thai language, the green curry is called kaeng khiao wan which literally means sweet green curry. There you go green curry is not meant to be fiery hot. Just bursting with flavour from lemon grass, Kaffir lime leaves and coriander roots and stems.
Thai people usually make their curry paste in a mortar and pestle as the spices are crushed and so the end result is more aromatic. This can take about half an hour so be prepared! The curry paste makes enough for another curry and I like to freeze any surplus. When you want to use it next time, just bring it to room temperature and just use straight from the jar.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 generous tablespoons green curry paste (recipe below)
400ml coconut milk, shake well before opening the tin
250g extra firm tofu, cut into squares of 3 centimetres or so
150g eggplant, cut into 2 centimetre dice
120g butternut squash, cut into 2 centimetre dice
½ cup Thai basil leaves
2 Kaffir lime leaves, crushed
½ teaspoon dark soy sauce
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a small wok. Fry the green curry paste for one minute until fragrant. Stir in the coconut milk and bring it to a boil. Add eggplant and butternut pieces. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Mix in the tofu pieces and continue cooking for a further 3 -4 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the Thai basil, Kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar and soy sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serves 2 as a main or 4 as part of a Thai themed meal.
GREEN CURRY PASTE
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon white pepper corns
2-3 green birds eye chillies, roughly chopped
1-2 long green chillies, roughly chopped
3 centimetres galangal, peeled and roughly chopped
20g frozen crushed lemon grass, thawed
5 Kaffir lime leaves, remove the central vein and roughly chop
100g fresh coriander stems and root
8 medium cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
50g shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
Toast the coriander and cumin seeds with the white peppercorns. Pound them in a mortar and pestle and remove to a bowl.
Put both varieties of chillies along with pinch of salt and crush them well. Remove to another small bowl.
Pound all the remaining ingredients together – galangal, lemon grass, Kaffir lime leaves, coriander stems and roots, garlic, shallots. When pounded well enough, return the chillies and coriander seed mix to the mortar and pestle. Pound everything together to a very smooth paste.
I was short on time when I made this, so I did up to the chillies in the mortar and pestle. The rest I used the smallest food processor jar and made into a paste. Then combined the chillies and coriander seeds mix and pulsed a few times until I got the desired consistency.
Makes about 200ml