This can be made with chicken, beef, pork, veg or tofu. It is with homemade curry paste which gives it a lovely fresh taste but of course you can use shop bought to save time.
For the red curry paste
• 1 -3 red chillies seeds removed (this really depends on how hot you like it, I only used one first time around and it wasn’t enough)
• 5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
• 3 thin slices peeled fresh galangal, or fresh ginger 1 tbsp puree
• 1 stick fresh lemongrass that has been thinly sliced, crossways
• 6-8 fresh coriander roots, washed well and coarsely chopped (use coriander leaves if unavailable)
• 2 fresh kaffir lime leaves, or dried (substitute with lime rind if necessary)
• ¼ tsp shrimp paste, or 2 anchovies from a can, chopped
• ½ tsp ground cumin
• ½ tsp ground coriander
• 2 tbsp bright red paprika
For the curry
• 450g/1lb boned and skinned chicken breasts
• 1 teaspoon coconut oil or rapeseed oil (Tip check the ingredients on a bottle of vegetable oil often it is 100% rapeseed oil)
• 400ml/14fl oz can coconut milk (do not shake or stir for as long as possible to allow the cream to separate)
• 3 tbsp red curry paste
• 1 fresh kaffir lime leaves or 1 tsp lemon zest
• 2 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
• 1 tsp thick tamarind paste or lemon juice
• 1 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar
• 15-20 fresh Thai (holy) basil leaves or ordinary basil leaves
1. For the curry paste, put all of the ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a smooth paste. You may need to add a bit more water. This recipe will make about six tablespoons of paste, so freeze or refrigerate what you don’t use.
2. For the curry, cut the chicken breasts crossways into thick slices.
3. Heat the oil in a wide, preferably non-stick, pan set over a medium-high heat.
4. Carefully open the can of coconut milk without disturbing it too much. Remove four tablespoons of the thick coconut cream that will have settled at the top and place in a small bowl. Stir the remaining contents of the can well and set aside. (N.B. If there isn’t any thick cream on the top, fry off the paste for a couple of minutes and then add the can of coconut milk)
5. When the pan is hot, add the coconut cream and stir. Add the curry paste and stir again. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes or until the oil separates and the paste is lightly browned.
6. Reduce the heat to low and add the chicken, reserved coconut milk, lime leaves (or lemon zest), fish sauce, tamarind paste (or lemon juice) and the palm sugar (or brown sugar).
7. Stir together well and bring to a simmer. The chicken should turn white and cook through. Simmer on a low heat for a further minute or two.
8. Just before serving, sprinkle the basil leaves over the curry, stir gently and remove from the heat. Serve with jasmine rice (or rice of choice; brown rice is the healthier choice)