Bring fragrant Thai flavours to your kitchen table with this authentic, hot and aromatic green chicken curry with rice.
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp shrimp paste
1 tsp salt
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
5cm/2in piece galangal, peeled, roughly chopped
½ tbsp palm sugar
2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer leaves removed, soft inner core roughly chopped
5-8 medium green chillies, roughly chopped
1 bunch fresh coriander
2 lime leaves, roughly chopped
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
12 sweet basil leaves
1 shallot, roughly chopped
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 x 400ml/14fl oz can coconut milk
½ tbsp palm sugar
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
150g/5oz pea aubergines
200g/7oz fine green beans, cut into 5cm/2in pieces
1 small can (about 220g/8oz) bamboo shoots, drained and sliced
12 basil leaves
1 lime, juice only
For the curry paste, dry-fry the cumin and coriander seeds in a small pan for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Place the seeds and all of the other curry paste ingredients into a food processor and blend to a smooth paste.
For the curry, heat the sunflower oil in a large pan over a high heat and fry the chicken pieces for 4-5 minutes, turning once or twice, until golden-brown all over. Stir in about half of the curry paste (add more if you like a hotter and more intense curry) and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant.
Stir in the coconut milk, palm sugar, fish sauce, pea aubergines and lime leaves and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, for the rice, pour the coconut milk into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the rice and salt and stir until translucent.
Pour the hot coconut milk and water over the rice. Stir once or twice to combine, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a tightly fitting lid and leave to steam for 15-20 minutes without removing the lid.
For the cucumber pickle, warm the honey gently to soften then mix with the rice vinegar until well combined. Mix in the cucumber and shallots and set aside for five minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
To finish the curry, stir in the green beans, bamboo shoots and basil leaves and cook for a further five minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove the lime leaves and add lime juice, to taste.
To serve, spoon the rice into serving bowls, make a small well in the middle of the rice and spoon in the curry. Garnish with a wedge of lime and sprig of coriander.
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