June 24, 2012

Thai Red Curry with Perfect Fluffy Rice

My family and I, we were never 'big' into Sunday Roasts. Having roast beef, pork or chicken on a Sunday with all the trimmings...it was never really our thing. Don't get me wrong, now and then we enjoyed a roast dinner. However, never was a roast viewed as a Sunday necessity. Eating together as a family was traditional enough for us. 

I know some people might be horrified at the thought of this! 'No Sunday Roast?!' What can I say...we are a little unconventional, but it works perfectly for us. 

A delicious example of our unconventionality: Thai Red Curry on a Sunday! People might consider curry a chilled Friday night meal, with a few cold beers. A curry can be given a spicy sophistication that can impress the swankiest of eaters.

By making your own red curry paste you have already gotten major food points. You can control how spicy, zesty, lemony or aromatic your curry is going to be. You are the composer of this dish. I added two chillies to my curry paste, I probably could have added another one. I was overly cautious because between you and me, I'm a little scared of spicy food. 

I made my curry with chicken but you could totally change it up with pork or prawns. Even make it vegetarian with sweet potato, squash, cauliflower and aubergine. 

Curry anyone?



Fresh ginger, red onion, lemon grass, line and coriander for the paste.

Bruise the lemon grass with the back of a knife to release the zingy lemony aroma and...

...roughly chop with the chilli, red onion and grated ginger.

Add the juice of one lime.

Adding tomato purée gives a depth of flavour and a rich red colour. Fact. 

Blitz in a food processor until smooth. FYI, this smells amazing! 

Fry the curry paste with chicken. 

By frying the curry paste you are releasing all the flavours from the fresh blitzed vegetables. 

This stage is vital to ensure you reach flavour town.

Add the creamy coconut and reduce slightly. We've got lots of yummy sauce here.

Add the snap peas, so colourful and crispy. 

Rice, salt, pepper, ground cumin, coriander and a bay leaf.

Cover with hot stock, bring to the boil, simmer...

...remove from heat, cover with a tea towel and steam for a further two minutes.

All the liquid will have been absorbed by the rice and you should (will) have perfectly fluffy rice!

Recipe, Serves 5

Red Curry Paste, makes 3-4 tablespoons. 

1-2 Red Chillies
2cm Piece Ginger
2 Lemon Grass Stalks
1 Red Onion
1 Tablespoon Tomato Purée
1 Lime, juiced
Bunch of Coriander

Bruise the lemon grass with the back of a knife and peel the ginger.
Roughly chop the lemon grass, chili and onion.
Finely grate the ginger.
Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. 
Add the tomato purée, lime juice and coriander.
Turn on the machine and blend to a smooth paste.
Set aside. 

5 Chicken Fillets
600ml Full Fat Coconut Milk
350g ( 2 Packets) Snap Peas
Vegetable Oil

Cut the chicken into strips.
Heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a frying pan and add the chicken.
Cook until the outside of the chicken turns white. 
Add the curry paste and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring. 
Add the coconut milk.
Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
Add the snap peas, turn off the heat, clamp on the lid and allow to steam-make sure the snap peas stay crisp and green.
Serve with the below rice recipe.

Perfect Fluffy Rice (Every time!!)

500g Long Grain Rice
1 Litre Hot Chicken/Vegetable Stock 
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 Bay Leaf
Salt and Pepper

Put everything in a pot.
Bring to the boil, reduce heat, clamp on the lid and simmer slowly for 7 minutes.
Check rice.
Rice should have absorbed all the stock. 
Remove from heat, lay a tea towel over the pot and cover with the lid.
Allow to sit for 2 minutes.
Fluff with a fork and serve.

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