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Thai Yellow Chicken Curry (kaeng kari)

The yellow curry from Thailand is one of the classic traditional curries from that country, along with the red curry, the green curry and the massaman curry. While being very tasty, this curry is probably the mildest of the Thai curries, while the red curries are usually being labelled as the hottest…

Ingredients (for four guests):

Ingredients to make your own Thai yellow paste:
* 9 red dried chili peppers of four inch in size
* Half teaspoon salt, or to your taste
* 2 inches minced ginger
* 1 inch minced fresh galangal
* 4 shallots, chopped
* 5 Garlic cloves, minced
* 4 Tablespoons garam masala
* 2 tablespoons powdered turmeric

Chicken Curry sauce ingredients:
* 4 Tablespoons oil
* 1 Onion
* 4 cups coconut milk
* 2 cups of coconut cream (for cooking)
* The yellow curry paste we just did
* 8 Boneless, skinless Chicken breasts or thighs
* 1 Big potato, diced
* 6 Thai eggplants, split in four
* 4 Teaspoons brown sugar
* 3 Tablespoons vietnamese Nuoc Mam fish sauce


A) Making the Thai yellow curry paste, skip to B if you will be using a ready-made paste from the store;

1) Start by leaving the dried chillies in warm water for 20 minutes, to rehydrate then slightly; then, we turn to chopping down the other ingredients such as the ginger, the galangal, the shallots and garlic. Galangal looks a bit like ginger but its taste is quite different.

2) Once tender after soaking, cut the chile’s stem ends then remove their seeds. Wipe and then put in the bowl of your blender with some salt. Begin to pulse a bit with the pestle; much effort will be needed to overcome these peppers! We can start this step in a mini blender or electric coffee grinder, because with some blenders these peppers just sit there with the blade spinning without hitting anything. Once the chilies have liquefied continue blending to break down further the pieces still floating.

3) Once the peppers are blended, add the ginger and the galangal. Pulse some more with the blender. Continue with the shallots and garlic. Finally, add the turmeric powder and curry. Continue to crush to obtain a smooth paste.

B) Preparing the yellow chicken curry itself

1) Pour some oil in a wok and heat it up, add the roughly diced onion, then cook until their are translucent; pour the curry paste in and mix well. Fry a few minutes over low heat setting to avoid burning it.

2) Now mix in the coconut cream and milk. Bring to a boil while stirring cosntantly. Add the potato cubes, add the Thai eggplants. For the Thai eggplants, just wash them, remove their stem and split them in quarters; add to the curry.

3) Prepare the chicken thighs by cutting them in pieces, making sure you cut out the unwanted parts.

4) When the curry has simmered 10 minutes with the eggplant, now is time to add the chicken. When the chicken is cooked, add the Nuoc Mam to finish and the sugar. Bring to a boil; it should have a creamy consistency.

Ladle the yellow curry in small bowls and serve with spoons. Accompany with basmati rice.