Don’t be alarmed when you look at the recipe – I know there seems to be a lot of ingredients in this Indonesian curry, but if you regularly cook Thai or Far Eastern curries you’ll find you have a lot of these ingredients in your cupboard. Maybe you’ve even been looking for an excuse to use up all those odds and ends of spices and sauces that have been hanging around? Once the paste is made, which you can do the night before and refrigerate in a sealed container, the rest is so simple, you can have it cooked in 20 mins.
Anyway, I’ve been making this curry for a couple of years now but when my daughter Lucy came back from Uni recently all she wanted was comfort food. I served this and she said she thought she was in heaven. It always makes me happy, making her happy.
I usually serve this with Coconut Rice but if you think that’s a bit of coconut overkill then plain white or brown rice is perfect!
Penaeng Paste Ingredients
3 Bird’s Eye Chillies, stalks removed
1 Kaffir Lime Leaf, sliced finely
Zest of a Lime
1 Lemongrass Stalk, chopped finely
1 inch of fresh Ginger, grated
4 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
3 Shallots, roughly chopped
Half a bunch of Coriander, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 tablespoon Sunflower Oil
4 Chicken Breasts
1 Tin of Coconut Milk, Half or full fat – your choice! (Reserve a few tablespoons for garnish)
100ml Chicken Stock
1 tablespoon Fish Sauce
1 tablespoon of Coconut Palm Sugar, or normal palm sugar
2 tablespoons Tamarind Paste
A few tablespoons of coconut milk reserved from the tin above
Make the paste by pounding together the paste ingredients in a mortar until soft. Alternatively, for handiness and speed, just blitz all the paste ingredients together in a food processor.
Heat the oil in a wok/large frying pan until shimmering, then fry the paste for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add the chicken and fry for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Then add the coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, palm sugar and tamarind paste. Bring to nearly boiling and then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Then stir in the cream and reheat slowly.
Check one cube of chicken to make sure it is cooked through, then serve with rice (or coconut rice) and garnish with a few dribbles of the reserved coconut milk and some chopped coriander.