Thai green curry

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Thai curries often take a bit more effort than their Indian counterparts, with the requirement to make your own curry paste. While it is difficult to surpass the bright flavours of freshly made green curry paste, you can always use a shop-bought version. Just be sure to check the ingredients list, because some contain fish sauce or shrimp paste – and note that you’ll only need ¼ cup (55 g), as it will be more concentrated than the one below.

Use tamari instead of soy sauce.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 ml) coconut milk
  • 1 cup (250 ml) vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar (or grated palm sugar)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 block extra-firm (300 g) tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1 large aubergine (eggplant), cubed, or 7–8 baby aubergines, halved
  • 1 large red chilli, deseeded and sliced
  • ½ cup loosely packed (15 g) Thai (or regular) basil leaves
  • steamed jasmine rice, to serve

Green curry paste

  • 2 lemon grass stalks, white parts only, thinly sliced
  • 5 cm ginger or galangal, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar (or grated palm sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • ½ cup (25 g) chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • ½ cup loosely packed (15 g) Thai (or regular) basil leaves

Method

You can make the curry paste with a mortar and pestle, which is ideal, or in a food processor or blender, which is quicker. While using the mortar and pestle takes more elbow grease, it releases a lot of flavour and results in a more aromatic paste. Simply pound or blend all the paste ingredients together until smooth and even, adding a splash of water if necessary, particularly if you are using a food processor. Set the paste aside.

Pour a splash of coconut milk into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry paste and fry for about 4 minutes, stirring often, to release its flavour and aroma. The kitchen should smell amazing at this point! Add the rest of the coconut milk, along with the stock, soy sauce, sugar, lime leaves and tofu. Cover and bring to the boil. Now add the aubergine and chilli and cook for 4–5 minutes until the aubergine is tender and buttery.

Remove the curry from the heat and stir in the basil leaves, then serve with steamed jasmine rice.