№ 11 Vietnamese chicken and lemongrass curry
Prep 20 min Cook 35 min Serves 6 • DAIRY FREE • GLUTEN FREE
Ingredients 1 large onion, peeled and finely sliced 1 tbsp ground turmeric 2 tbsp mild curry powder 800g crown prince squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into walnut-sized cubes 400ml (1 tin) coconut cream 1 tbsp palm sugar Salt 600g chicken thigh fillets, cut into large chunks 400g pak choi, roughly chopped Roasted peanuts, chopped, to serve Steamed rice
For the curry paste
2-3 bird’s eye chillies 1 small handful coriander roots and stalks, washed (save leaves for serving) 6 garlic cloves, peeled 2 lemongrass stalks, outer layer peeled away and stalks roughly chopped 1 large knob fresh galangal, peeled, or 1 tbsp galangal paste 1½ tbsp tamarind paste (homemade or bought) 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
There is something mething th therapeutic about making a quick curry paste at home. Few things can beat the smell of freshly ground spices and aromatics – especially when they hit the hot metal of a wok. Now that ingredients such as tamarind, galangal and lemongrass are stocked at larger supermarkets, it is also an easy solution for a midweek dinner. This mouthwatering curry is easily made vegan if you swap the chicken for more pumpkin or another vegetable like halved brussels sprouts.
First make the chilli paste: put all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds. Add half the oil and a tablespoon of water, then blitz again for a minute.
Warm the rest of the oil in a large wok or deep pan over a medium heat, and add the onion. Fry for five to seven minutes, until it begins to soften, then add the curry paste, turmeric and curry powder, and continue to cook for a further five minutes or so, until the onions are soft.
Add the squash, stir to coat in the spices for a minute, then add the coconut cream and palm sugar. Fill the coconut tin with water about two-thirds full, and pour into the pan with a teaspoon of salt. Bring to simmering point and cook for five minutes, then add the chicken.
Continue to simmer gently for 15 minutes, until the chicken is just tender, then stir through the pak choi and cook for a few minutes more, until the stalks are tender. Check the seasoning and serve scattered with the peanuts and coriander leaves, with a bowl of steamed rice on the side.