Green curry is the true powerhouse dish of Thailand. Its extraordinary pastel green appearance has led to its recognition as one of the most distinctive curries of Southeast Asia. A key reason for its enduring popularity is that it delivers sweetness, saltiness, and hidden hints of spice, all bound together in one dish. At weekends, I usually make this recipe using a pestle & mortar, whereby ingredients are chopped very finely and pounded from softest to hardest until a thick green paste is produced. This can actually be a very therapeutic activity, and there is some sort of inexplicable satisfaction to be gained from cultivating your own curry paste.
On weekdays however, it is a different story! I don't deny that cooking Thai food using traditional techniques is the way to go for an authentic taste, but taking shortcuts can be just as appealing when strapped for time. Put all ingredients in a food processor and blitz them together until you get that thick green paste. Use coconut oil (liquid) to facilitate with the process. In this case, there is no need to chop ingredients as finely as they will be mixed by the processor anyway. Green curry is also meant to be sweeter than all other Thai curries, so it's okay to be generous with the seasoning.
Some people prefer thick curries and some like it thin (and watery). In Thailand itself, green curry is best enjoyed in its watery form, but various restaurants all over the world, have opted for the thicker consistency in order to provide a universal appeal. Depending on your own preference, you can add more water to loosen the curry or allow it to simmer for longer to produce a thicker result. Coconut milk is used here, but if you haven’t any in the pantry, feel free to use full-fat milk or any other dairy-free milk such as almond.
Gluten-Free | Dairy-Free
Green Curry Paste
Green Chillies Large chopped & deseeded 12 pieces
Cumin Seeds & Coriander Seeds roasted on a dry pan until slightly dark and fragrant 2 tsp each
Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
Galangal (or Ginger) peeled & chopped 20g
Lemongrass ends sliced off, outer layer removed & chopped 2
Kaffir Lime Leaves stalks removed & torn 4
Garlic crushed, peeled & chopped 4 cloves
Shallots peeled & chopped 2
Shrimp Paste 2 tsp
Fine Sea Salt a generous pinch
Coconut Oil 2 tbs
Green Curry Sauce (From Above)
Aubergine cut into small cubes & rubbed with some salt 1
Tofu sliced into small pieces 600g
Bamboo Shoots sliced 150g
Coconut Milk 400ml/1 Can
Thai Basil Leaves (or any other fresh basil) 10 g
Large Red Spur Chilli 1 (optional)
Palm Sugar 55g
Fish Sauce 3 tbs
Fine Sea Salt to coat aubergines
Put all green curry paste ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth, using some oil to help.
Heat oil in a deep pan on a low heat. Add green curry paste (it should sizzle immediately). Allow curry to become fragrant and release its herbal aromas (around 3 minutes).
Add aubergine cubes and bamboo shoots. Cook for a couple of minutes until softened. Mix well for a minute to ensure ingredients are properly coated in the green curry paste before pouring in the coconut milk (save 2 tbs for decoration), 400ml of water (or more for a watery consistency) and adding all of your seasoning. Leave to simmer for around 8 minutes.
After simmering, both vegetables and meat should be soft. Take the curry off the heat, add basil leaves and mix well.
Taste and adjust seasoning before transferring green curry into a serving bowl. Gently drizzle some coconut milk all over, and optionally sprinkle with thinly sliced red chillies."