Classic curry

08 April 2016


GEORGE’s coming-of-age today calls for an April-green, white-and-gold menu of Green Thai curry that will accommodate carnivorous granny and vegan girlfriend equally comfortably. There are ripe mangoes in the market, which will be a good complement, with plain rice, and then fried bananas and coconut ice-cream to follow.

This would be a good menu for a parish lunch, when you are catering for a large number and different dietary needs, but the quantities I have given here are for about four people.


Curry paste

1 stalk lemongrass, bruised and finely chopped

1-3 green chilies

4 cloves garlic

1 onion

1 knob of ginger, thinly sliced

½ cup fresh coriander

½ cup fresh basil

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground white pepper

½ teaspoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon soy sauce

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon brown sugar

3-4 tablespoons coconut milk



coconut oil for frying (or vegetable oil)

chicken breasts, or 2 packs of tofu, cubed

red and green peppers, cut into strips

courgettes, cut into batons

fresh basil leaves, torn


Blend all the green curry paste ingredients together in a food processor, using as much coconut milk as you need to reach a manageable consistency, and work them to a paste. Heat a wok or large frying pan, and oil it carefully, adding the green curry paste. After it has cooked for a minute, add another dash of coconut milk.

Add the chicken or tofu pieces (divide the sauce between two woks if you are cooking for vegetarians and chicken-eaters) and bring up to the boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the chicken (if you are using chicken) is cooked through. Test the seasoning and add a little more soy sauce, coconut milk, lime juice, or chili, to balance the flavours. Add the vegetables and basil leaves and cook until heated through, but still crisp.

Serve with a garnish of more basil, and a splash of coconut milk, with a dish of rice and slices of mango.

To make a simple Vegan coconut ice-cream, you need:


2 tins full-fat coconut milk (not low fat)

¾ to 1 cup sugar or agave syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt


Combine the coconut milk with the sugar, vanilla, and salt in a blender, and blend until smooth. Freeze, beating every so often, to keep it soft, or put it in an ice-cream maker. For the fried bananas, peel one per person, and wrap them in one spring-roll wrapper or a sheet of filo pastry, sealing the edge with a little water. Fry in coconut oil for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve them hot with a scoop of coconut ice-cream.

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