While Chinese food is very popular in India, Thai food isn’t as ubiquitous. My first encounter with Thai food was in Detroit and I fell in love with the cuisine. When Aparna and I got married and we returned to the US, I decided to take her out to eat Thai. I figured she would enjoy the spice and the coconut based curries would be a twist on the curries that we ate at home. A couple of spoons later it was apparent that she was not enjoying her food and that was the end of Thai food for a while. It was only later that I found out that she did not like Bamboo shoots and the curry that I had ordered was laden with Bamboo shoots. Happily, she loves Thai food now, sans Bamboo shoots of course!
When we do cook Thai at home, we cheat and use the “Maesri” spice pastes. These pastes are available in Oriental stores and are now also available in most of the supermarkets. The resulting curries are delicious and as good as Thai curries that are available in restaurants. We do not follow the instructions printed on the can, we have experimented over time and have come up with a recipe that works good for us. This is one of those recipes where the prep time is more than the actual cooking time!
- Maesri Green Curry Paste - 4 oz
- Coconut Milk - 1 can - 400 ml
- Water - 400 ml
- Chicken breast - 1/2 lb, cleaned and cut into thin slices
- Shrimp - peeled, deveined, tail off - 1/2 lb
- Carrot - 1
- Zucchini - 1
- Green Bell pepper - 1
- Red Bell pepper - 1
- Red Onion - 1
- White Mushrooms - 4 or 5
- Green/Red Chillies - 4
- Basil - 4 or 5 leaves
- Fish Sauce - 1 tsp (optional)
- Oil - 3 tbsp
- Salt to taste
Slice the vegetables lengthwise (matchsticks) and keep aside.
Slice the chicken into thin strips.
Heat a wok on high heat, add 1 tbsp of oil and stir fry the chicken with a little salt till the chicken is no longer pink. Do not overcook the chicken. Remove and keep aside.
Add 1/2 tbsp of oil and stir fry the shrimp with a little salt till the shrimp is pink in color. Transfer the shrimp to a plate and keep aside.
Add 1 tbsp of oil to the wok and stir fry all the vegetables (with the exception of green chillies and basil) with a little salt till they are crunchy. Transfer all the vegetables to a plate and keep aside.
Add 1/2 tbsp of oil to the wok and add the green curry paste. Stir fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the coconut milk and and the water to the paste and let the mixture come to a boil.
Add the chicken, shrimp, vegetables, green chillies, basil and fish sauce and lower the heat and cook for a couple of min.
Serve hot with white rice.
- We used Chaokoh coconut milk. The instructions on the Maesri can ask for 2 cans of coconut milk, the Chaokoh coconut milk is pretty thick, we use 1 can and add an equal quantity of water.
- We love vegetables and hence add a ton of them to this curry. You can use the vegetables that you like. In fact the ingredients in the curry paste do not have any shrimp paste or fish sauce, so you can make this a vegetarian dish by skipping the meat and fish sauce.
- If you are short for time or don’t fancy cutting vegetables, you can purchase one of the blends available in the freezer section of your local supermarket.
- We add a little bit of salt while stir frying the meat and vegetables, we do not add any salt to the dish. The salt in the curry paste is sufficient.