Keaw Wan Kai (Chicken Curry)

From September 28, 2005: I made this Thai green curry last night and fell in love with it.  It’s absolutely amazing!  It’s as good (if not better) than anything you can get at a Thai restaurant.  It’s also very simple to make and fast to prepare.   Adjust the spice level to your tastes.  Remember, it is easier to add more heat than to take it away.  I served the curry with basmati rice because I like it better than jasmine rice.  It is also faster to cook and not as sticky.

I wasn’t able to find Thai eggplants, but  was lucky enough to find (purple) Indian eggplants at a local grocery store for a real bargain……8 little eggplants for 56 cents!  If you can’t find Thai eggplant (or Indian), substitute regular eggplant (cut into large cubes…use about 2 large handfuls).

Keaw Wan Kai (Chicken Curry)

2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons green curry paste (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
8 small Thai eggplants, quartered
3 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 kaffir lime leaves, julienned very thinly
12 fresh Thai basil leaves (plus more for garnish)
red chili, thinly sliced

In a mortar, pound the fresh cilantro leaves.

Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan until very hot.  Add the pounded cilantro leaves and fry for 1 minutes.  Add the curry paste, coriander and cumin, and stir-fry for about 1 minute, until an arome develops.  Lower the heat and add the coconut milk, a little at a time.  Allow it to simmer for about 2 minutes, then add the chicken and cook until cooked thorugh.

Add the Thai eggplants, sugar, fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves, and Thai basil leaves.  Simmer for 5 minutes or until eggplant is tender.  Sprinkle with more Thai basil leaves and sliced chili (if desired)and serve.

To make a vegetarian version of this recipe, substitute 4 ounces of tofu for the chicken.  Add 2 ounces small broccoli florets and 8 pieces of baby corn, quartered lentghwise.  Use light soy sauce instead of the fish sauce and prepare the dish as above.

Recipe adapted from Madame Pa’s Chicken Curry recipe in The Blue Elephant Cookbook by John Hellon (Pavilion, 1999).


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