“After gigging in Thailand, Greg found a real love for Thai cuisine, especially Thai green curry. Now, the base of any good curry is the paste, so it’s important to get this right – toast and wake up the spices and give the ingredients a good bash to extract and release maximum flavour. Trust me, the freshness you get from making your own is just incredible, and it’s pungent, so a little goes a long way. Make up a big batch and freeze in portions to save time on another day. ”
For the paste, toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until golden and smelling fantastic, then pound to a powder in a pestle and mortar, and tip into a small bowl.
Trim and roughly chop all the chillies (deseed if you like), peel and chop the galangal, garlic and shallot, and roughly chop the lemongrass (use the thicker, lower part only), then place in a pestle and mortar with a good pinch of sea salt.
Finely grate in the kaffir lime zest, then add most of the coriander (stalks and all), and pound to a paste (or whiz everything together in a food processor).
Muddle in the shrimp paste, ground cumin and coriander, and white pepper.
Slice the chicken into 2cm strips. Deseed the red chilli peppers, finely slice at an angle and place in ice-cold water, ready for serving.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil into a large heavy-bottomed pan over a medium-high heat, add 3 heaped tablespoons of the curry paste (save the rest for another day) and fry for 30 seconds, or until smelling fantastic, adding a splash of the coconut milk to prevent lumps.
Turn the heat up to medium-high, add the chicken and stir well to coat the chicken in the marinade. After 5 minutes, pour in the remaining coconut milk and bring to the boil, stirring regularly.
Tear in the kaffir lime leaves and simmer for 10 minutes, then add the palm sugar – have a taste, the curry should be slightly sweet, but not overpoweringly so. Add the fish sauce and taste again – it should taste well rounded; salty with an underlying sweetness.
Quarter the aubergines, add to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes (regular aubergines will take quite a bit longer, so cook until tender), then turn off the heat.
Pick and stir through most of the Thai basil, then drain and sprinkle over the finely sliced chilli. Delicious served with jasmine rice and the remaining coriander and Thai basil scattered on top.