Panang Curry – The Recipe

cx-DtQfGOr3zGFaby-apxR640x480This week on Thai food Tuesday we’re showcasing one of the most delicious dishes in existence, Panang curry! If you like spicy, like most of us in the office, then Panang curry will almost certainly entertain your palette, and then some 😉 Panang, sometimes spelt Penang, is a blend of food cultures stemming from Malaysia, Myanmar, India, and of course Thailand

There’re quite a few ingredients, but if you can find them all and put them all together the right way, then you’ll have a skill in your arsenal of recipes that’s hard to beat. That being said, let’s do this!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 small chicken, or 1/2 medium-large chicken cut up into pieces (or the equivalent of beef)
  • 3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 red bell pepper or sweet red pepper, sliced
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, or substitute bay leaves
  • 1/2 loose cup fresh basil leaves, left whole or roughly chopped if leaves are large
  • Chicken stock

Curry Sauce:

  • 4 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. dark soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. shrimp paste
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. whole cumin
  • 1-2 red chili, minced, OR ½ to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper or chili flakes to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 can good-quality coconut milk
  • juice of ½ a lime

Yeah, right! That’s a lot of stuff, but luckily these items should be easy to find at any local supermarket, aside from the fish sauce and shrimp paste assuming your outside of Asia.

Right, so let’s move on to preparation:

You’ll want to start with the curry sauce (see ingredients above). Throw all of them together in a blender (except for the whole cumin seeds) and blend thoroughly. If you don’t have a blender then you’re just going to have to finely dice the onion, garlic, and galangal/ginger before mixing that well with the rest of the curry sauce ingredients. (Many Thai street vendors and roadside restaurants don’t have blenders and this process is usually done by hand, so don’t worry, you got this!)

Next you’ll pour the curry sauce mixture into a wok or pot on medium heat, along with ½ a cup of chicken stock and stir together till mixed. Now add the chicken (or beef) pieces together with the cumin seed and the lime or bay leaves and continue to stir for several minutes.

Now let the curry simmer for about 45 minutes not forgetting to give it a stir occasionally. After that time, add the tomatoes and peppers and let that simmer for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until both the chicken and vegetables are cooked through.

If it isn’t salty enough, add more fish sauce. If it’s too salty, add more lime juice. If it’s too spicy then add more coconut milk or yoghurt.

Sprinkle some of the diced basil leaves over the curry and serve along with Thai jasmine rice.

And there you go! You should now be the food-god of your friends! Enjoy



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