There are many different ways to make curry, and I probably have tried most of them, but it seems like I keep coming back to the curries of Thailand and south-east Asia. This one is a riff on a Red Curry and gets some of its inspiration from TH who recently was in Seattle for business and ate a couple of times at a neighborhood Thai restaurant near his hotel. He liked the addition of carrots and potatoes, so I gave that a try here. As with most Asian dishes it always seems like the ingredient list is long, but the only thing hard about this dish is finding some of the more unusual ingredients like Kaffir Lime leaves. If you are lucky to have an Asian market nearby you shouldn’t have any trouble, but at the end of the recipe I have made a few substitution suggestions.
Thai Red Curry Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes
For the Curry Sauce:
- 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk (I use Chaokah brand)
- 3 tablespoons finely minced lemongrass
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped shallots (about 2 large)
- 1 1-inch piece fresh galangal peeled and grated
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 6 Thai red chilies
- 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts and thighs cut into 1-inch pieces
- 6 single kaffir lime leaves thinly sliced
- 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced ¼-inch thick on the bias
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- Thai basil leaves
- Lime wedges
- Add all of the curry sauce ingredients to the bowl of a food process and process until smooth.
- In a Dutch oven heat the curry sauce over medium heat. Add chicken and kaffir lime leaves and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add potatoes and carrots and continue to simmer until potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and bell pepper and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add basil and remove from heat.
- Serve over rice (I used Forbidden Black Rice) and garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.
Please try to use the ingredients as listed for authentic Thai flavor, but if you need to make substitutions because you are unable to find any of them, I have made the following suggestions for the ingredients not commonly found in your typical grocery store.
Galangal is very similar to ginger root, but with a more floral flavor. Ginger can be substituted.
If you can’t find Thai red chilies, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper can be used instead (or to taste).
Shrimp paste adds a salty component as well as the elusive "umami" but ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt can be used.
Kaffir lime leaves really are something special, but if you can’t find them you can use 2 teaspoons of lime zest. In the directions I tell you to use single leaves. They are usually found with two leaves linked together. If that is how yours come use 3 double leaves.