Penang Curry

  • For the curry:
  • 400ml thick coconut milk (reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish)
  • 100g red curry paste (see below)
  • 450g boneless chicken
  • 2 tsp palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves, middle vein removed and very finely shredded
  • 1 red spur chilli cut into slices on the angle
  • 1 orange chilli also cut into thin slices on the angle
  • 80g pea aubergines soaked in cold water with some salt and a squeeze of lime to soften them
  • For the red curry paste:
  • 10 white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp course sea salt
  • 12-15 red chillies deseeded
  • 4 shallots thinly sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp galangal chopped
  • 3 lemon grass stalks finely sliced
  • 3-4 kaffir lime leaves veins removed and finely chopped
  • 4 coriander roots
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 2 tbsp oil

For the curry paste:

1. First make the red curry paste by putting the white peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and the sea salt into a small frying pan and dry fry them for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat.

2. Put the toasted spices either in a pestle and mortar or a coffee grinder and grind until you have a fine powder.

3. Now add the rest of the ingredients except the oil into a mortar and pound with a pestle until smooth or use a blender to achieve a smooth paste.

4. Add the oil a little at a time and blend in well.

5. Place in a jar in the fridge until ready to use.

For the curry:

1. In a wide heavy bottomed non stick pan, bring half the coconut to the boil, stirring until it separates.

2. Add red curry paste and cook for a few minutes until the coconut milk dries up and incorporates thoroughly into the red curry paste. (You will notice the oil will start to separate from the mixture and will rise on to the surface.)

3. Once done, add two-thirds of the lime leaves and continue to stir fry for a minute, then add the chicken.

4. Combine and coat the chicken thoroughly with the mixture.

5. Then add the remaining coconut milk along with the fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce and the pea aubergines and half the chillies.

6. Bring to the boil, simmer on a low heat until the chicken becomes tender.

7. Plate and garnish with the reserved coconut milk, the remaining kaffir lime leaves and the chillies. Serve with Jasmine Rice.

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