World Spices Cooking Class 2: Thai Yellow Chicken Curry with Cashews

The main course for my second World Spices Cooking Class was Thai Yellow Chicken Curry with Cashews and Pineapple, served on Jasmine Rice. This recipe was super complex — in fact Chef Eric must have spent ages measuring out all of the many spices in order for us to finish the class in the allotted three hours. I counted 22 herbs, spices, speciality ingredients plus a bouquet garni going into the curry sauce along with the coconut milk!

Indian whole wheat 'rotis' to scoop up our Thai curry

we used spiced Indian whole wheat ‘rotis’ to scoop up our Thai yellow curry

Although it was delicious I would never attempt such a feat on my own, and therefore refer you to my ‘Thai Masaman yellow coconut curry recipe with pork and lychee‘ recipe which starts with a can of yellow curry paste. It is really delicious, plus with my limited kitchen storage space I can’t afford to fill it up with masses of ingredients that I never get around to using!

Here are a few shots of the process if you do decide you want to make a Thai curry from scratch.

  • To make the yellow curry paste, start by grating the tender lemongrass bulbs.
lemongrass is an essential ingredient in much of south-east Asian cuisine. Here one is cut in half displaying the 'bulb' which can be grated

lemongrass is an essential ingredient in much of  South-East Asian cuisine. Here is one cut in half to show the ‘bulb’ portion which can be grated.

grating the lemongrass

grating the lemongrass

  • Now blend together with nine other ingredients, some of them dry-roasted, and you will have the basic ‘yellow curry paste’.
    dry roasting spices

    dry roasting spices

    shrimp paste and more spices

    shrimp paste and more spices

    dried yellow chile

    dried yellow chile

    the basic 'yellow curry paste'

    the basic ‘yellow curry paste’

  • Take three tablespoons of the basic ‘yellow curry paste’ and add 12 more ingredients, chopped, smashed, toasted and/or otherwise processed, and then you will have the basic ‘yellow curry sauce’.
sliced lemongrass and 3 Tbsp yellow curry paste in the blender

sliced lemongrass and 3 Tbsp yellow curry paste in the blender

kaffir lime leaves

kaffir lime leaves

cashews, spices and fish sauce

cashews, spices and fish sauce with sugar already added

  • Toss it all into the pot along with coconut milk and a bouquet garni.
the bouquet garni made up of cilantro stems, lime leaves, 1 red Thai chile and the tough leftover tops of lemongrass

the bouquet garni is made up of cilantro stems, lime leaves, 1 red Thai chile and the tough leftover tops of lemongrass

Thai yellow curry sauce with the bouquet garni

Thai yellow curry sauce with the bouquet garni

  • Once it is simmering, prepare the remainder of the ingredients, in this case chicken, pineapple, peas, bamboo shoots, carrots and cilantro, and add them to the pot.
  • Make jasmine rice according to the package instructions.
  • Serve the curry over the jasmine rice, and garnish with pineapple and/or chopped cilantro and/or cashews. Serve with Indian rotis.
Indian whole wheat 'rotis' to scoop up our Thai curry

Thai yellow curry garnished with pineapple and cilantro, served with Indian rotis.

Chef Eric posts many of his recipes on his website: http://www.911cheferic.com/

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