Cur­ry­ing favour in the heat

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

AF­TER A hard day’s tap­ping away at the com­puter last week, I sud­denly had a crav­ing for a curry. This is not such a rare oc­cur­rence — it hap­pens to me at least a cou­ple of times a week. I am fairly sure that I have de­vel­oped a mild chilli ad­dic­tion. Re­search has shown that the body re­acts to con­sump­tion of chillis by re­leas­ing en­dor­phins. The hot­ter the chilli, the greater the re­sponse, so it is pos­si­ble to ex­pe­ri­ence a chilli high — and the great thing is that my drug of choice is avail­able in all su­per­mar­kets in fresh and dry forms and its use is un­re­stricted.

The only down­side to the curry crav­ing was a) that it was very hot and sweaty out­side and b) mak­ing curry can be a long and in­volved process. Then I had a brain­wave. How about a Thai green curry? Not only can it be as­sem­bled in a few min­utes but they eat it all the time in Thai­land where it is very hot. So it must be the per­fect an­ti­dote to an English summer.

You will see lots of pre­pared green Thai curry pastes in the shops but nearly all con­tain fish sauce and/or shrimp paste so for a kosher ver­sion you will have to start from scratch. For­tu­nately this in­volves merely blitz­ing a few in­gre­di­ents to­gether. If you want to do this the zen way, and have noth­ing planned for the day, you can use a pes­tle and mor­tar. How­ever a mini food pro­ces­sor will achieve good re­sults in sec­onds. You will need two cloves of gar­lic, a thumb sized piece of ginger (peeled and chopped), two chopped spring onions, a chopped stalk of lemon­grass with the outer skin peeled away, two, or even three, green chillis, two ta­ble­spoons of light soy sauce, a tea­spoon of cumin and two tea­spoons of ground co­rian­der, plus a good hand­ful of fresh co­rian­der. Blitz well.

From here it’s easy. Pour a lit­tle veg­etable oil into a hot wok and add your paste. Saute for a few sec­onds un­til the aro­mas start to hit your nose and the chilli as­saults your eyes, then throw in a can of co­conut milk, a squeeze of lime juice, two ta­ble­spoons of brown sugar and a few finely chopped kaf­fir lime leaves (fresh are best, dried will do) and sim­mer away for a minute or two. Then add four diced breasts of chicken and sim­mer for a few min­utes un­til cooked.

Gar­nish with some more co­rian­der, serve with steamed rice and (if the weather is as hot as last week) fol­low with a cold shower.

It must be the per­fect an­ti­dote to an English summer

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