Thai Green Curry Chicken – Gaeng Kiaw Wan Gai

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I am not a curry snob but I prefer to make curry paste from the scratch using fresh ingredients and spices, especially when it comes to Thai curries. Just because I can. However, if I am unable to accomplish that, meaning living in a foreign country can sometimes challenge your grocery shopping list, I have no choice but to use ready-made curry paste. Oh yeah, definitely easier and less nerve-wrecking method to satisfy your Thai craving.

Let’s be honest, I always feel the rush each time my BAEs be tellin’ me they want me to fix their Thai green curry addiction. Like wwhhhaatttt – I am always up for that! I can never say no to cooking and eating Gaeng Kiaw Wan Gai aka Green Curry Chicken.

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I always love, love, love the texture and appearance of a freshly made curry paste, the aromatic spices that perfumed your entire kitchen, the intimidating steps to marry the ingredients together, it all sounded so perfect to me, which I simply cannot explain why I feel so comforting each time I curry paste it. I remember watching my mum and grandmother working in the kitchen making Thai green curry as if two happy witches had successfully created a magic potion, it was my magic because that was how I’ve learnt this authentic Thai green cury recipe. What is slightly different is that I’ve cooked with chicken breast today as a friend of mine dislike the idea of eating bone-in chicken. I always, always recommend to use bone-in chicken for full flavour.

What you need:

1 1/2 cup coconut milk 

1 cup of green curry paste (for 1/2 a chicken)

1 cup of chicken stock / water 

1/2 a chicken breast / bone-in chicken

2 tablespoons of palm sugar, finely chopped

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

1 teaspoon of salt  (optional)

3-4 kaffir leaves, roughly torn

1-2 carrots, sliced

Thai basil leaves

Eggplant / Thai eggplant, cut

Pea eggplant (optional)

Green curry paste to blend:

8 – 10 small shallots, chopped

1 bulb of garlic, chopped

2 teaspoons of coriander seeds, slightly toasted & pound into a fine powder

1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, slightly toasted & pound into a fine powder

1 tablespoon of white peppercorns

15 – 18 green chilies, cut into half & discard the seeds

A handful of green bird’s eye chilies (adjust according to your spiciness level)

1 1/2 tablespoons of galangal, chopped

1/2 a handful of cilantro roots & stems

5 – 6 stalks of lower half of lemongrass, outer layer removed & thinly sliced

2 teaspoon kaffir lime zest, finely chopped

2 kaffir lime leaves, centre vein removed

1 tablespoon of shrimp paste

Blend all the curry paste ingredients after pounding the toasted coriander seeds and cumin seeds. In a pot over a medium heat, pour half a cup of coconut milk and stir until the coconut oil starts to separate from the coconut milk, if it doesn’t it is fine. Stir in the curry paste. Alternatively, you can stir in the green paste first. Keep stirring until you see greenish oil form. Fret not if you don’t see the oil forming, continue to stir until fragrant.

Add in the chicken, stir to coat until partially cooked. Add kaffir lime leaves, carrots, chicken stock or water and the rest of the coconut milk. Let it simmer for 10 minutes then add in the eggplants or Thai eggplants. Season with fish sauce and palm sugar. Let it simmer for another 20 minutes then add the pea eggplants. Once the pea eggplants are cooked, throw in the basil leaves and quickly turn off the heat.

Serve with rice, bread or pasta.

If you happen to live where fresh ingredients are readily available, give this Thai green curry a go, sometimes making from a scratch is not only authentic but can be so fulfilling.