Chicken, aubergine and shitake mushroom red curry


About to go diving, I had to have another fridge clear out and I came up with this rather scrummy curry. It’s difficult in our household because Ross and I have different yin/yang attributes, so he is meant to eat aubergines, green beans and tomatoes, while I am not meant to! Poison! says Prof Ang. Anyway occasionally I like to poison myself, so by diluting them with shitake, I thought it would balance out!I also dont use as much coconut as most recipes for Thai curries suggest, as coconut is ‘too cooling’. THe merest taste suffices, coconut is also very fattening. Serve with red or white rice, and a green salad, with avocado to calm the heat.

Serves 4

1/2 can 400ml can coconut milk
3 tbsp red curry paste
2 skinless chicken breast or 4 boneless thighs, cubed
2 small aubergine cut into 1 inch chunks
4 large shitake (or other) mushrooms
1 tbsp fish sauce
4 kaffir lime leaves, torn into pieces
1⁄2 lime, juice of
2 fresh red chilies, cut into very thin strips
1⁄2 cup Thai basil or 1⁄2 cup sweet basil, chopped

Red curry paste
4-6 hot dried red chilies, soaked for 1-2 hours (of the long cayenne variety)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp fresh lemongrass, that has been thinly sliced crossways
3 slices galangal (thin slices, fresh or frozen) or 3 slices ginger
1 slice fresh kaffir lime rind or 2-3 kaffir lime leaves
4-6 coriander roots, washed well and coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
teaspoon shrimp paste,
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp bright red paprika
salt to taste

First make the red curry paste by combining everything in a blender and whizzing it up, including the soaking water from the chillies.You will get a nice runny paste.

Then heat the coconut milk in a wok, and when bubbling, add the red curry paste.

When that is hot and beginning to separate slightly, throw in the chicken pieces and simmer until they change colour. At this stage, add in the aubergine and mushrooms. You might need to add some more water if the sauce is too thick. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until everything is cooked.

Then add the fish sauce, and lime leaves, and check the seasoning. Add salt if necessary. Just before serving add the chillies and lime juice, then serve garnished with fresh basil and rice.

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