Monday, June 23, 2008

Thai Red Chicken Curry

Is there anything in the world to match the sheer variety of Thai food? It zings and pops, crackles and splashes: a brilliant orchestration of freshness, flavour and texture. And yet we always seem to come back to the 'old staples' - this being one of them. But damn, it's good.

There are commercially available curry pastes available in most supermarkets: they come in a little tub. I tend to use the Thai ones rather than Ainsley Harriott's ThaiTastic Taste Experience Red Curry WonderTM. If you can get to Sharjah's amazing Green House Supermarket, then you can buy home made curry pastes. But if you're really hardcore about that curry, you'll make your own paste.

If you like your red curry ball-breakingly hot, then increase the amount of curry paste to about 1 tbsp per chicken breast. I don't, this is a relatively mild curry that nevertheless will definitely let you know you're eating a Thai red curry! If the heat ever gets too much, some coconut milk will help out.

  • 4 chicken breasts (approx 1kg) cut into 2cm cubes
  • 8 tsp red curry paste
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 2 tsp nam pla
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 10-12 chunks fresh pineapple
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil

In a wide-bottomed pan, fry off the red curry paste in the oil over a high heat, then add the chicken, stir frying it to mix the paste up and also whiten the chicken. Slosh in the coconut milk and stir it in to heat up. Add the tomatoes. Let it be for a minute or so until it's starting to bubble, then turn the heat lower (not minimum, but not far off it) and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the nam pla, soy sauce and pineapple and cook for a further five minutes. Serve with plain boiled rice and somethingcool, crisp, sharp and white.

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