We don't make Thai food that often at home.
(We often buy pre-made curry paste to save time if we do make it.)
But curry from scratch with fresh ingredients is to-die-for.
We have a favorite restaurant right by our church back home where the curry is outstanding.
This is not an easy dish to make.
There are a lot of essential ingredients to achieve that layer upon layer of flavor effect.
Nevertheless, your hard work will pay off and the results are worth it.
Penang is my favorite curry because I love its peanutty sweetness.
This version of Penang Curry is:
"Chicken and Peanut Curry."
(kaeng ped gai sai tao ob)
for the Penang Curry Paste
8 large dried red chiles
2 t. shrimp paste
3 shallots, chopped
2-inch/5 cm piece fresh galangal, chopped
8 garlic cloves, chopped
4 t. chopped cilantro root
3 lemon grass stalks (white part only), chopped
grated rind of 1 lime
1 T. fish sauce
2 T. vegetable or peanut oil
1 T. salt
6 T. crunchy peanut butter
for the curry
1 T. vegetable or peanut oil
2 red onions, sliced
2 T Penang curry paste
12/4 c. coconut milk
2/3 c. chicken stock
4 kaffir lime leaves, torn coarsely
1 lemon grass stalk, chopped finely
6 skinned, boned chicken thighs, chopped
1 T. fish sauce
2 T. Thai soy sauce
1 t. jaggery or soft, light brown sugar
generous 3/8 cup unsalted peanuts, roasted and chopped, plus extra to garnish
6/oz/175 g fresh pineapple, chopped coarsely
6-inch/15-cm piece cucmber, peeled, seeded, and sliced thickly, plus extra to garnish
1First make the curry paste. Cut off and discard the chile stalks and place the chiles in a bowl.
Cover with hot water and set aside to soak for 30-45 minutes. Wrap the shrimp paste in foil and
broil or dry-fry for 2-3 minutes, turning once or twice. Put the chiles and their soaking water into a
blender or food processor. Add the shrimp paste, shallots, galangal, garlic, cilantro, root, and
lemon grass, and process until finely chopped. Add the lime rind, fish sauce, oil, and salt, and
process again. Add the peanut butter and process to make a think paste, scraping down the
2Heat the oil in a wok and stir-fry the onions for 1 minute. Add the curry paste and stir-fry for 1-2
3Pour in the coconut milk and stock. Add the lime leaves and lemon grass and let simmer for 1
minute. Add the chicken and gradually bring to a boil. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the
chicken is tender.
4Sir in the fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar, and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Sirt in the peanuts,
pineapple, cucumber, and cook for 30 seconds. Serve immediately, sprinkled with extra nuts and
The Penany Curry Paste can be refriderated and frozen.
Recipe from Thai Cooking: The Food and the Lifestyle, by Judy Williams