Thai green curry, one of the all time favorite Thai food. When I was living in the UK, it only took me bare minimum effort to find Thai green curry. Every grocery stores I went had either green curry paste or already made Thai green curry. Just how popular this dish became in the past years, it is not hard to make one even if you are not local.
This is actually the first time I made the paste myself. Usually, I would prefer buying the already made paste as it is much more convenient. Out of curiosity, I decided to make the paste myself and the result was incredible. Okay, the effort I put in finding ingredients for the paste were more than other recipe I did in this blog. But I will have to say, it is definitely worth the effort. The taste from the fresh home made paste is so intense and aromatic.
It would be quite hard to find the ingredients if you are not based in South East Asia. However, it is not that necessary to find the exact ingredients required in this recipe. Although, I would beg you not to substitute Bergamot skin with lime skin because it gives completely different result. There are some ingredients which can be substitute. If the effort to find the ingredient is out of hand, you can use already made green curry paste and it's totally acceptable. This is my favorite green curry paste which I found this one to have the most similar to the homemade one. You can use this recipe as a guide to your own way of green curry.
For the Paste
9 small cloves of Garlic (4 large ones)
2 Coriander roots (can use a whole coriander as substitute to add more green color to the curry as well)
1 tbsp chopped Galangal (can substitute with ginger but expect the taste to be different)
1 tbsp chopped Lemon grass
1 tsp Bergamot skin (no substitute but can skip)
1 tsp Shrimp paste
12-17 Green Chilies (can put lesser depending on the spicy level you want)
6-10 white Peppercorns
1 tsp Cumin seeds (can use ground cumin seed)
1/2 tbsp Coriander seeds (can use ground coriander seeds)
1 tsp Coarse salt
For the Curry
5 - 6 Thai Eggplants (can use normal eggplant)
50g.Turkey berry or Pea berry
100g. firm Tofu
3 Red chilies
1-2 Bergamot leaves
8-10 Basil leaves
1 tbsp Oil
2 tsp Palm sugar
200 ml Coconut milk
1/2 tbsp Coarse salt
Make the Green Curry Paste
- Roast cumin seeds and coriander seeds in the wok until the smell stated to get more intense.
- Grind peppercorns and roasted herbs. I use mortar and pestle but food processor will do as well. Set aside after grinding.
- Pound together the garlics, shallots, salt, galangal, lemongrass, bergamot skin, coriander roots, shrimp paste and green chillies together (can use food processor). Add bergamot leaves if the paste doesn't seems to be green enough (optional).
- Add the ground herbs that was prepared (from part 1 and 2). Mixed together in the food processor until smooth.
For the Curry
- Cut the vegetables and red chillies, set aside.
- Warm a work over a medium-high heat. Add oils and swirl it around to cover the wok surface. Add the green curry paste, stir-fry the paste until the fragrance gets stronger ( around 30 secs to 1 min).
- Add 100 ml of coconut milk and mix until there is no lump of the paste left. When the curry based comes to boil, add tofu and stir to incorporate completely.
- Add the rest of coconut milk with 50ml of water and reduce the heat. Flavor the curry with palm sugar and coarse salt. The curry should be sweet, a little salty and spicy (add more coconut milk if the curry is to spicy). Stir occasionally until the fat starts to separate from coconut milk and float to the top.
- When the curry come to boil, add the eggplants and turkey berry. Mix well to incorporate.
- Let the curry simmer until the vegetables are cook to the stage you like. Add basil leaves and chillies, stir all ingredients together and turn of the hob. The curry is served with jasmine rice or rice vermicelli, decorate the curry with slice bergamot leaves, red chillies and basil leaves.
- If the curry is too spicy, add more coconut milk to it.
- Soy sauce can be used to add flavor, but it will slightly change the color of the curry.
- Add more water or vegetable stock to dilute the curry, if you feel like it's too thick.
- The key of making Thai curry is too be patient and make sure that the oil is separated from the coconut milk and float to the surface.