I am in the rather disconcerting position of having completely lost my sense of taste and all cravings for food after a nasty bout of winter flu. It’s the strangest sensation ever – I don’t feel hungry or want anything that tastes exciting. My palate is currently as developed as a wet piece of cardboard, and for the past week I have been living on toast and chocolate. I’m desperate for something that will rev up my palate and get it back on track. Can’t think what on earth that will be. I’m all off kilter, it’s so very weird.
Anyway, this post is to give you the recipe of the last thing I really enjoyed eating before I got this darned flu. Even though I can’t stomach anything like this at the moment, it’s the best Thai green curry paste recipe I’ve ever tasted, made by my hubby. He rather unorthodoxly doesn’t use sugar (which is the mainstay of Thai cuisine) which makes it all the better for me, as otherwise I find Thai curries a bit on the oversweet side. This paste can be used with chicken, beef, pork, tofu, vegetables – whatever you like. It’s the perfect fodder for winter – aromatic, fiery, zesty and full of herby flavours that dance on the tongue. (Except that at the moment I can’t taste ruddy anything!!!)
Serves 4 (with rice)
You will need:
For the paste:
2 generous thumb-sized pieces fresh peeled galangal root (or use fresh ginger)
3 long stems of fresh lemongrass, outer husks discarded
1 white onion
7 fresh lime leaves, central leaf veins removed
5 cloves garlic
4 – 10 birdseye chillies (up to you how hot you make it)
1/2 tsp shrimp paste
About half a 400ml tin of full fat coconut milk
handful of fresh coriander root (or just a few stems)
1 tsp ground coriander
lots of ground black pepper
For the rest:
1 big aubergine, chopped into 2cm pieces
1 x 225g block smoked tofu (we love Clear Spot organic smoked tofu)
1 handful dried small shrimp
Remainder of tin of coconut milk (used for the paste)
juice of 1 fresh lime
Fish sauce, to taste
Chopped coriander and Thai holy basil
When you open your tin of full fat coconut milk, scoop out a large blob of the thick white coconut gloop that is concentrated around the top of the tin and set aside. Chop all your paste ingredients roughly and blitz it all together in a food processor. If you find it’s too dry, just increase the amount of coconut milk. You’ll probably need to leave the food processor on for about 5 minutes so that you get a roughly blended paste.
Preheat a wok over a medium flame, then add the coconut gloop you reserved earlier, fry it until it gets hot and transparent, then add your paste – fry it, stirring so that it doesn’t catch, for about 10 minutes. Add the aubergines, dried shrimps and the rest of the coconut milk and stir well; then add the wok lid. Cook until the aubergines are tender – will take about 30 minutes. Keep an eye on everything and give it a stir from time to time. Then add the tofu, cut into cubes, cook for a further 5 minutes, then add the herbs before turning the heat off. Season with fresh lime juice and fish sauce, to taste. Serve with basmati rice.
YUM. I want green curry for tea now.