Makrut lime leaf

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Thai Green Curry Paste

Homemade curry paste is a bit of work, but it will enhance your Thai dishes tremendously — it’s so much more flavorful and bright than curry paste from a jar. Curry paste freezes well in an airtight container.

1⁄2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon white pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
4 green chilies
3 shallots, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves
1 stalk lemongrass
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
4 Makrut lime leaves, fresh or dried
Thai basil leaves, handful

The convenient method for turning these ingredients into curry paste is to put them all into the bowl of a food processor (fitted with the knife blade), then pulse and process to a paste. You may need to stop and scrape the bowl with a spatula. The authentic way to make curry paste is in a mortar & pestle. It’s more work, but we’re fans, in part because we think more flavor is released and the finished texture is superior. Start by grinding the dry spices and salt in the mortar, then add the fresh ingredients a few at a time, pulverizing them well until you have a thick, chunky paste.

Makrut lime, also called kaffir lime, is a relative of the common lime but is known for its highly aromatic leaves instead of its fruit. Fresh leaves can be found at Asian markets (or you can grow your own!) but Curio offers top-quality dried leaves from California.

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Thai Green Curry with Chicken

Fragrant and soul-satisfying, this simple curry is best served with a mound of Jasmine rice. The dish balances salty, sweet, and spicy flavors beautifully.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons green curry paste, or more to taste
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut big bite-sized pieces
6 Thai eggplants* cut in quarters or
2 cups trimmed green beans cut in
2-inch pieces
4–5 Makrut lime leaves, fresh or dried
1 red Thai chili, sliced thinly
1 14-ounce can coconut cream
1⁄2 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar
Thai basil, handful leaves

Prep the lime leaves by tearing the leaf from the center stems, discard the stems.

Warm a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, swirling the pan so that the oil coats the bottom. Add the green curry paste, stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and stir fry until the chicken is about half-way cooked. Add 3⁄4 of the coconut cream (you can add more later, if needed), stir, let the sauce come to a boil, then add the chicken stock and stir in the fish sauce and palm sugar. Let the sauce come back to a boil, add the eggplant (or beans), and lime leaves. Simmer until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through. Tear the basil leaves and add them to the curry. Taste the sauce, adjust for sweet–salty balance.

*Thai eggplant are round, small, and mild. If you can’t find them, use any other variety of eggplant — about two cups of 1-inch chunks.