A Tale of Two Curries

Posted By Kerri

I wasn’t going to post this since the pictures came out so badly but our friends who came and ate this with us asked for the pork recipe so here it is. We don’t have a very large dining table so don’t entertain at home as much as we would like to. When we do have people for dinner then we tend to cook one-pot dishes such as these that can be eaten on laps so people can spread out around the kitchen. It works quite well but we’re both looking forward to having more space so we can do traditional Thai banquet-style dinners.

The other thing about having people over is that, while it’s okay for us to eat slightly cold food while we try to get good pictures of the food, it’s not something we tend to inflict on our guests, hence the hastily snapped pictures. It’s a shame that neither of these dishes look all that appetising since they were actually pretty good, especially the pork. As with most Thai curries, the cooking of the dish itself is quick and easy, it’s the making of the pastes that takes the time.

We cooked both of these dishes intending to serve six people, with some rice and vegetables but there wasn’t really enough. I’d say this was probably enough to feed four, generously. I would therefore like to apologise to my guests (if they’re reading) and hope you didn’t have to stop off for more food on the way home!

Pork and Green Peppercorn Curry
From David Thompson’s “Thai Food”

300g pork shin (I used leg since shin is almost impossible to find)
2 cups coconut milk
Lemongrass offcuts (from paste)
Pinch of salt
1.5 cups coconut cream
1 tsp palm sugar
2 tbsps fish sauce
2 tbsps picked green peppercorns
3 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
Handful holy basil leaves
1 long red chilli, deseeded and juliennned

6-10 long red chillies, deseeded, soaked and drained
Large pinch salt
6 tbsps chopped lemongrass
1 tbsp grated lime zest
2 tbsps scraped and chopped corinader root
1 tsp coriander seeds, roasted
1 tsp cumin seeds, roasted

First, make the paste.

Bring the coconut milk to a boil in the pan. Add pork, lemongrass offcuts and salt. Add water to cover, if necessary. Simmer until pork is tender (about 30 minutes) and leave to cool in stock. When cook, remove, reserve the stock and trim and slice the meat into 1cm pieces.

Add the coconut cream to a clean pan and then add the paste and fry over a medium heat until fragrant, about two minutes. Season with the palm sugar and fish sauce and then add the pork. Moisten with the reserved stock if necessary. Finish with the remaining ingredients and check seasoning before serving.

Chicken and Vegetable Curry
From David Thompson’s “Thai Food”

500g skinless chicken thighs
4 cups stock

Selection of vegetables (mushrooms, basil leaves, bamboo shoots, eggplants, beans)

20 dried red chillies, deseeded, soaked and drained
Large pinch salt
4 tbsps chopped lemongrass
4 tbsps chopped shallot
2 tbsps chopped garlic
2 tsps shrimp paste

Start by making the paste.

Slice the chicken, combine with the paste and fry until fragrant – about two minutes.

Add the stock and bring to the boil. Add vegetables and simmer until cooked. Check the seasoning and then serve.

Nov 27th, 2010

4 Comments to 'A Tale of Two Curries'

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  1. Yay, I’ve soo been looking forward to this blog post and in particular the pork dish, which was just fantastic. It’s so going on my cooking list right away.
    Well, I’m not sure I can get hold of all the ingredients in Sweden, so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to do it.
    Besides, I always admire you making your own paste every time and always think I should take time and try my luck with that and what better dish than this wonderful pork dish.


  2. Kerri said,

    I’m really glad you enjoyed it! I think it is worth taking the time to make the paste and you have to with something like this anyway because you can’t find it ready-made. It does make a difference to the freshness and vibrancy of the end dish I think.

    I imagine it’s probably the coriander root and lime leaves that you’ll struggle with. Perhaps you can take them back with you next time you’ve visited? The lime leaves freeze brilliantly so you could attempt to take them back frozen. If you can’t get the coriander root then I think you could improvise with some coriander stalks, they have a huge amount of flavour which is not quite the same as the root but might be close enough.

  3. Yes, the coriander root did stump me and I’d struggle with the green peppercorns too, but you’re right, I could bring them over from the UK. I’m pretty sure it’s a special type of coriander that has a good root, not the stuff they sell in pots in the shop. I think I’ve seen kaffir lime leaves in Sweden, but dried, hopefully they would do.

  4. Stephen said,

    In supermarkets the coriander is just stems and leaves. It’s only in Thai supermarkets (and in Chinatown) that you get them with the roots attached. I think the roots are usually just thrown away by western supermarkets, which is a shame.

    PS I like what you did there with the “coriander root might stump me” 🙂

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