How to Make Authentic Thai Green Curry at Home

India may be the birthplace of curry, but most Southeast Asian countries have adapted it and created their own regional specialties. Dating from around 2500 BC. AD, ‘curry’ is actually an anglicized version of the Tamil word ‘kari’ and when traders and settlers visited India from places like Japan, China, Portugal and France, they spread the love of curry around the world. , including Thailand.

In Thai, curry is called gaeng (which can also be spelled kang, gang, or geng) and in English translates to any moist, salty dish that has been flavored and thickened with a paste. The most popular Thai curries are green, red, yellow, panang and massaman and all start with a basic curry paste with shrimp paste, garlic, onions, pepper, kaffir lime and lemongrass. The main differences arise when picking the chilies to use, which will then decide the heat level of the curry and its final color.

Also Read: The History of Thai Red Curry and Types of Thai Curries

Thai green curry was first recorded in 1926 in a local cookbook, but the use of chili peppers in Thai cuisine dates back to Christopher Columbus who discovered chili peppers in South America and brought them to Europe where Portuguese traders introduced them to their Asian colonies of which Thailand was one. The characteristic green color comes from using green chillies whereas other curries tend to use dried red chillies.

There is a misconception that the green color comes from the use of coriander leaves and although it has slowly crept into popular belief, a traditional green curry rarely includes coriander, and if it is the case, only the stems are pounded in the curry paste, not the leaves.

As a dish, Thai curry has far surpassed other dishes in the country in terms of popularity. The use of coconut milk and sometimes palm sugar lessens the spiciness of the chilli and appeals to Western palates as well as Asian palates. Every Thai restaurant across the price spectrum is sure to feature this dish in one form or another. And the good news is that even if it seems complicated to achieve, it is actually very simple. All you need are some great Thai ingredients that are easy to get hold of online these days and you’re ready to bring a taste of Thai culture into your own kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 150 grams of Thai chili peppers, green color
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3 shallots
  • 1 piece of galangal
  • 5 coriander roots
  • 1 kaffir lime zest
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass
  • 1 tbsp. white peppercorns
  • 1 C. coriander seed
  • 1 C. cumin seeds
  • 1 C. salt
  • 1 tbsp. shrimp paste

Recipe:

  • The first step is to prepare your ingredients for pounding your green curry paste. Remove the stems from the Thai green chilies, peel the garlic and shallots and thinly slice the galangal, coriander roots and lemongrass.
  • For the kaffir lime, carefully slice off all the bumpy green skin. For the cumin and coriander seeds, dry roast them in a hot skillet for 30 seconds to bring out the aroma.
  • Traditionally, you would pound all the ingredients for the green curry paste in a stone mortar and pestle, except for the prawn paste, which you would add at the very end.
  • Pounding can take 1-2 hours, and you’re looking for a smooth mashed batter, but you can also use a food processor to speed it up. A good measure of a Thai curry paste is that you shouldn’t see any chili seeds left in your paste, they should all be pounded.
  • Once your curry paste is done, add the prawn paste, stir and mash until well blended. Set your green curry paste aside.
  • At this point, you can fry your batter, add your coconut milk and protein of choice, and simmer the curry until cooked through.
  • Serve hot, over steamed rice.

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