Thai Yellow Curry
Sometimes seen on Thai restaurant menus written in English as "Kaeng Kari".
Thai speakers please note this is แกงกะหรี่ and not แกงส้ม (Kaeng Som), an altogether different dish, sour and spicy, that I hope to be adding soon :-)
One of the few Thai curries to be notable for it's use of Indian spices this is also a relatively mild dish popular with children and adults not wanting the full blown Thai spicy experience. For me this has to be served with "ajat", an easily made relish that is a wonderful palate cleanser. I would no more dream of eating this curry without ajat than I would eat roast beef without Yorkshire pudding! In the above picture I have also garnished it with some sliced onions fried until crisp. Not essential but I think it goes well with this dish. The pastes are complete but it is always a good idea to have a little lime juice to hand to adjust sweetness, if needed, to your personal taste at the end of cooking. If serving with "ajat" this provides a contrast to the sweetness of the curry so you don't want to make the curry too sharp by adding lime juice in most cases. You also adjust saltiness by adding a little more fish sauce or salt if required.
Make sure you’re using the “right” type of coconut milk as it will make or break this or any other coconut based curry. Quick guide here, Coconut Milk Summary or if you would like to see the difference between different brands of coconut milk the full article is here, Cooking Thai Curry with Coconut Milk. Just use half a can to start with, if it has separated in the can to a thick part at the top of the can then use the top part. You can add the remaining coconut liquid later depending on how thick you want your curry to be.
This is what you need for the curry.
This is how you make the relish "Ajat".
Mix 1 part sugar with 1 part white vinegar.How much sugar and vinegar you use depends on how much ajat you are going to serve, you just need enough liquid to cover the vegetables. Warm for 20 secs in a microwave or heat gently to dissolve the sugar and allow to cool down. Put the chopped onion, cucumber and mild red chilli in a small bowl with a sprig of coriander if available. When you are ready to serve, pour the sugar/vinegar mixture into the bowl and mix through..
If you are going to serve with the fried onion garnish it is easiest to make this ahead. Thinly slice the required amount of onion and fry and drain on kitchen paper.
Now for the curry.
Halve the potatoes and boil till just tender and set aside. Slice the onions. Cut chicken into chunks and heat in pan with a spoonful of vegetable oil until it is just starting to brown.
Add the curry paste to the pan and bring to a simmer.
Add half a can of coconut milk, if possible try to use the thicker part of the coconut milk at the top of the can. Cook for another 3 minutes.
Add the potatoes and the sliced onions.
Now you can add the rest of the coconut milk depending how thick you like your curry to be.
Cover pan and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Serve with rice and the ajat relish which you eat in small amounts as you would with any relish or chutney etc, as a personal preference I just scoop the chopped vegetables onto my plate leaving any liquid behind..
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This is a totally delicious way to serve roast chicken as well as being very simple to prepare. Cooking a whole chicken this way is practised in various forms throughout Asia, sometimes pot roasted, sometimes over hot coals and with many different curry pastes. Often cooked in the home, rather than restaurants, which is probably the reason why many Westerners are not familiar with the dish. Well, now is the time to change that and I promise you that you won't regret it!
This is a dish that is incredibly easy and quick to prepare. If you have a bag of frozen seafood in the freezer and the whole dish can come together in the time it takes to cook the rice. Talking of rice, I find myself increasingly turning to black rice
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