Friday, April 13, 2012

Thai style Chicken mince curry...



This happens when you are happy with what your patch of herbs is treating you with.

It has been a season of butterflies flitting all around, kissing the pollen of Basil, Marigold, Sweet Williams and Flox sometimes and squatting on unlikely places when you wonder what they are up to. Hiding below a leaf as if giving you a peek-a-boo. You get to know after a few weeks when the growing young shoots of your herbs are seen bitten mercilessly. Are you getting what I am talking about?

We all like when there is color and beautiful song and dance around. But the aftermath is somehow ugly. I often think if I am a selfish woman who loves every single butterfly flitting in my garden and yet hates the caterpillars who gnaw away my herbs. I often pick them up with tweezers and feed them to birds.

Cruel act. But I do that.

And I know this story is quite unappetising to begin a talk about such an aromatic yummy curry.

So I plucked a few Thai basil leaves, actually a handful, while picking a few of those caterpillars and putting them in my bird feeder, I proceeded to cook another bird for my meal. Cruel me.

I uprooted a lemongrass stalk too. Fragrant like no other thing, the green blades of this grass I save for my green tea. The bulb and a good part of the base goes into my curry.


A simple curry, few ingredients but very very aromatic and rich flavors. A comforting goodness. I made this curry with the leftover minced Chicken of the pack I got for making these Chicken cutlets.
It was a frozen pack, the brand is Venky's , quite good quality.

ingredients...
Chicken minced 200 gm
finely chopped onions 1/4cup
finely chopped ginger and garlic 2 tsp each
whole cumin seeds 1 tsp
thinly cut ginger julienne or grated ginger 2 tsp
salt and pepper to taste 
(you might like to be generous with black pepper as there is no chilly in it) 
oil 1 tbsp 
(any oil you use or if you have saved some chicken fat from stock making)
Basil leaves a generous handful, torn by hands 
(it should be a cup of basil, loosely packed)
Coconut milk 1 cup or a small carton 
( I used coconut milk powder 25 gm pack)
1 tsp cornflour if you are wary of the coconut milk splitting in the cooking mix
Soft boiled eggs 2 or more as you wish

I normally skim the fat whenever I make chicken soup or stock and store it in the freezer for such recipes. It adds to the taste and nutritive value of the dish.

procedure....

Pour oil or chicken fat in the pan and tip int he chopped onions, ginger and garlic all at once. Start heating the pan and frying the contents till they become translucent.

Add the whole cumin at this point and stir fry for a couple of minutes so it gets fairly cooked and aromatic.

The time to add the chicken mince. I often add it when it's still half frozen as it gets thawed and cooked all at the same time.

The lemon grass bulb has to be added at this time. Thrash the bulb once to loosen the pith, the most flavorful part. It might get separated from the stalk, put everything in the cooking mixture.

Keep stirring and cooking at medium heat for about 6-8 minutes or till the all the chicken mince looks whitish. Add the salt and pepper and mix well.

Now Add 1/2 a cup of water and torn Basil leaves.Cook for about 5 minutes covered on low heat.


Now mix the coconut milk with the corn flour if using. If using a powder coconut milk as I did, dissolve both in 1/2 cup of lukewarm water.

Add to the cooking curry. Let it come to boil, simmer for a couple of minutes. Adjust consistency by adding more water if required.

Add the thin ginger julienne at this time to finish. Some fresh slivers of ginger give it a distinct character.


It should look like this. A thick creamy gravy which is so fragrant you would feel hungry .

Actually you would feel hungry all the while it is cooking. The good news is, the curry cooks within 15 minutes or so.


Serve immediately garnished with halves of soft boiled eggs.

I normally serve this dish along with the lemon grass shoots. You would know why when you lick this grassy looking thingy. Just the way some people like to have a bite of red chillies used for tempering curries. This is something completely different. I like retaining it in the serving plate as well.


Lemon grass, Thai basil and Coconut milk make the yummiest of curies together. This one is lightly spiced with cumin and a generous amount of black pepper.

Twice added ginger gives it a deep earthy kind of heat, the freshness of ginger added as a finishing touch is also quite distinct.

Look at the crushed bulb of lemon grass. Try and suck this one and see if I am wrong. You would like it.
My husband never believes in my antics though :(


Serve with rice.

Yes, plain boiled white fluffy rice. I can't imagine something else with this curry.

What would you like this with?

May be noodles. I rarely have noodles for myself. You can try if you wish.

Enjoy...

5 comments:

  1. really nice curry!...love your post!

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  2. I love to read your passion for your plants and fresh herbs and their flavour is worth the wait. I guess you could leave the caterpillars outside your gate..anyways that's what I feel.
    Love the Thai flavoured curry anyday and yours with all fresh herbs has to be good.


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  3. A simple but very delicious curry dish!

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  4. What a yummy dish served here. Thai style chicken recipe making my stomach hungry. I will be trying this recipe soon. My kids and husband will love this superb dish.
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