Friday, 25 November 2011

Curry of the Week - Turmeric Chicken with Potatos and Peas

This Curry requires you to make your own curry paste but if you have all the ingredients it is not difficult.  You will need a mortar and pestle and, depending on if you cook Thai food very often or not, the only slightly uncommon ingredients are fresh Turmeric and Shrimp Paste.
Before giving you the recipe I would like to give you some quick information on the fresh Turmeric and the Shrimp past in case you have never used these before.

Fresh Tumeric is a small knobbly root like ginger but usually much smaller.  It stains like mad so when you prepare it consider your workspace carefully as it is extremely difficult to get out of clothes and bench tops.  Tumeric is reported to have a number of significant health benefits including its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and cutting the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in half.

Shrimp Paste is basically what it says it is.  You can buy it in small quantities at Asian grocers and some supermarkets.  It smells awful but once it is roasted it much more mellow.  Once you buy it it needs to be kept in the fridge in it's container inside another very airtight container.  When you roast it you add the required amount to al foil and wrap it up to seal it then roast it in the oven till it is a crumbly texture, usually about 5- 10 mins at 180 degrees.

Curry Paste

8 Large Dried Chillies (available at an Asian grocer)
2tsp Fresh Tumeric, peeled and chopped roughly
2tsp Coriander seeds
2tsp Cumin seeds
2tsp Shrimp paste, roasted


5 Tbsp Vegetable oil
8 Chicken Thighs
2Tbsp Garlic, roughly chopped
400ml Coconut Cream
500ml Chicken Stock
8Tbsp Fish Sauce
4Tbsp palm Sugar (raw sugar can be used in it's place)
500gm Waxy potato's, cut into chunks
1 cup of peas
1 large Green and 1 large Red Chili, halved de-seeded and sliced
1 Lime
Coriander to garnish

Making the Curry Paste

Soak your large dried chilli's in boiling water for 10 minutes.  While these are soaking you need to roast you shrimp paste (as above) and dry roast your cumin and coriander seeds.  To do this just put the seeds in a small dry saucepan and heat on the stove on a medium setting until you can smell the spices releasing their oils.  As soon as you can smell them tip them into your mortar and pestle so they do not burn.  Add the salt, fresh turmeric soaked chilli's and roasted shrimp paste.  Pound to a smooth paste.

Making the Curry

Heat the oil in a large pan and brown the chicken pieces in batches.  Remove the chicken and reduce the heat add the curry paste and garlic to the pan and fry until fragrant.
Add the coconut cream, chicken stock, fish sauce and sugar, stir till the sugar has been dissolved then add the chicken pieces and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 mins.
Add the potato's followed by the peas 5 minutes later and and cook until tender.  Stir through the sliced fresh chili.
Serve with a wedge of lime and some chopped coriander.

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