Nothing beats the freshness of a homemade curry paste. This is a delicious vegetarian curry but can easily be modified to make your favourite chicken green curry. Sin Qua has a similar texture to zucchini (courgette), its best eaten when young, if you have trouble finding it you can easily substitute with zucchini. Baby zucchinis with flowers would be lovely to use when in season.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- ⅔ cup green curry paste, or to taste
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 4 makrut lime leaves, crush the leaves to bruise and release the flavours
- 2 small sin qua
- ½ cup pea eggplants
- 100 g fried tofu, halved
- 1 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
- 1 tbsp palm sugar, finely chopped, or to taste
- steamed rice, for serving
- ½ cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
- ½ cup Thai basil leaves
- 1 tbsp fried shallots
Green curry paste
- 6 large green chilies, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp shrimp paste, wrapped in foil and toasted under a hot griller for 5 minutes
- ½ cup purple shallots
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 bunch coriander leaves stems and root, washed
- 2 makrut lime leaves
- 2 sticks lemongrass, tender part only, roughly chopped
- 1 x 5 cm piece galangal, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 tsp white peppercorns
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 makrut lime, rind finely grated
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Green curry paste makes enough for 2–3 curries depending on how much paste you like to use.
To make the green curry paste, place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until it forms a paste.
Heat oil in a wok or a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the green curry paste and fry for 2–3 minutes, until the paste is fragrant.
Add the coconut milk, water and makrut lime leaves, bring to a simmer. Peel the sin qua, keep paring down the corrugated skin until it is all removed, the skin is very tough. Add the sin qua, pea eggplants and tofu, simmer for 5–7 minutes or until the sin qua is tender.
Season the curry with fish sauce and palm sugar. The flavours in Thai recipes are a blend of hot, salty, sweet and sometimes sour. The heat in this curry comes from the amount of curry paste used and the saltiness and sweetness come from the fish sauce and palm sugar and the sour/bitter flavour comes from the pea eggplants.
Serve the curry over rice and sprinkle with coriander, Thai basil and fried shallots.
the food dept. fact
• Pea eggplants are commonly used in green curry and are available at Thai grocers. They have a bitter flavour that blends beautifully with the other flavours in the curry.
• This curry paste can be made and stored for a few weeks in the refrigerator or if you would like to keep it for up to 6 months freeze it in ⅓ cup portions. You could substitute the fresh curry paste for a bought green curry paste, but be sure to use the amount as recommended on the package, curry pastes can vary a lot in intensity.
Photography by Petrina Tinslay, styling by David Morgan and art direction by Anne Marie Cummins.