I’d say, especially in the colder months, I cook at least one curry per week.
They’re so fast to throw together and a great way to get plenty of vegetables in. Instead of the heavier Indian-style curries, we favour lighter, fragrant Thai curries.
Thai green curry (Kaeng khiao wan) is an absolute favourite at our place. The spicier, the better! Thai red curry (Kaeng phet) is great with beef and baby new potatoes for a really hearty meal. One of our new obsessions is Thai yellow curry (Kaeng kari) with prawns and pak choi – it’s a nice happy medium between the sweet spicy sharpness of the green curry, and the more mellow fiery flavour of the red curry.
I have no qualms about using curry paste – yes, it’s cheating, but it’s an easy and fast way to cook. I’ve made my own curry pastes from scratch before (and in my opinion), the difference in taste isn’t huge. For everyday dinners, a ready-made paste is fine, even Nigella admits to keeping Thai curry paste nearby for easy meals. Save the spice grinder for special occasions!
Here’s my simple Thai yellow curry with prawns and pak choi:
Thai yellow curry with prawns and pak choi20 medium-sized prawns (I use frozen prawns and simply thaw in a bowl of warm water before cooking)300ml coconut milk1 tbsp sesame oil1 tbsp grated ginger1 tbsp fish sauce1 small chopped courgette1 large pak choi, pulled into individual ‘petals’Heat the sesame oil in a large pan and add the curry paste and grated ginger. Let everything sizzle for a minute or so.Add the prawns and cook until opaque, but not entirely pink.Remove prawns from pan and put aside.Add the fish sauce to the pan, along with the chopped courgette and coconut milk and simmer until the courgette softens.Return the prawns to the pan, along with the pak choi and simmer until the prawn are pink and the pak choi is bright green and tender.Serve with basmati or jasmine rice.
The pak choi and courgette can be substituted for any greens you fancy – green beans, peas, spinach, broccoli, or a combination of all. I tend to just throw whatever I can find in, even using frozen veg if I’ve got nothing fresh to hand.
As a huge curry fan I’d love to know: what’s your favourite style of curry? Do you cook with a ready-made paste, or mix your own?