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Author Matt Stone

Origin Thailand

I have many memories from my travels; one that always comes to mind is when I was walking down a little alley in Bangkok, Thailand.

I remember seeing this little old lady sitting on a milk crate, she had a curry cooking on a makeshift stove. Her family and kids were gathered around her eating, there were loads of locals waiting to buy a bowl of the curry. They were literally lining up around the block for something made by a little old lady sitting on a milk crate in a dirty alleyway.

To me it just had a really nice vibe and feel. All the locals coming together, everyone talking and laughing, I could see there was a real sense of community. I mean, at the end of the day it was just one lady cooking a curry but it’s still one of the clearest and simplest examples I have of food bringing people together.

INGREDIENTS

Curry Paste:


  • 8 Large dried chillies
  • 4 Coriander root*
  • 4 Lemongrass sticks
  • 50g Peeled shallots
  • 50g Peeled garlic
  • 15g Peeled fresh turmeric *
  • 2 tspn Gapi (shrimp paste)*

    Curry:
  • 12 Large Tiger prawns (peeled and de- veined)
  • 400g Fresh rice noodles
  • 6 Apple eggplant* (chopped)
  • 8 Snake beans* (chopped)
  • 800ml Chicken stock
  • 800ml Coconut milk
  • 8 Kaffir lime leaves*

    To season:
  • White sugar
  • Fish sauce
  • Tamarind water*

    To garnish:
  • Coriander leaves
  • Thai Basil leaves

    * Ingredients that can be found at any Asian supermarket

METHOD

Paste:
De-seed chillies and soak in warm water. Remove top half and about 1cm of the base from the lemongrass, finely chop the rest. Clean and wash coriander root.

Wrap the gapi into a square of al foil, press flat, roast in oven at 180 degrees until fragrant. Combine all paste ingredients in a large mortar and pestle and pound into a fine paste.

Curry:
Put the coconut milk, chicken stock and Kaffir lime leaves in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil.

Add the paste in small batches, letting the curry return to the boil after each addition to ensure the paste is fully cooked.

Season to taste with sugar, fish sauce and tamarind water (start with a dash of each) Add the vegetables then prawns and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the noodles, take off the heat and wait for the noodles to warm through.

Garnish with coriander and Thai basil and serve.

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