Simple Thai Red Curry with Chicken

Pad Nang Gat


Curry Paste

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1–2 lime leaves, finely shredded
  • 1 lemon grass stalk, finely sliced
  • 1 in / 2.5 cm piece of fresh galangal or fresh root ginger
  • 4–6 fresh red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 1–2 tsp shrimp paste
  • 3–4 chicken breasts
  • Β½ pt / 140 ml coconut milk
  • 2 lime leaves, finely shredded
  • 2 tsp light muscovado or palm sugar
  • ΒΌ pt / 140 ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp dry roasted peanuts, crushed
  • basil leaves, shredded


First make the curry paste. In a mortar, grind the dry spices together, then add the salt, and grind in the garlic, lime leaves, lemon grass and galangal. The salt will help make grinding easier. Pound in the chillies and the shrimp paste.

Skin and bone the chicken breasts, and cross-hatch the smooth side several times with a sharp knife. Rub the curry paste into the chicken. In a well-seasoned frying pan or wok, fry the chicken on both sides for 2–3 minutes, which will bring out the spice aromas. Remove from the pan. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the peanuts and basil leaves, and half the stock, to the pan. Stir and bring to the boil, put the chicken pieces back, and simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through, adding the remaining stock if necessary. Serve sprinkled with the crushed peanuts and shredded basil leaves.