This was a hilarious weekend – I agreed to accompany hubs as he attended a medical conference and discovered that a couple of my friends were going to be in Bangkok at the same time. I had no plans that weekend other than waking up late in the morning and perhaps doing some mandatory shopping in Platinum mall. But it happened that friend A who I have called my enabler in the past, dragged me to a Thai cooking class. Friend A brings a huge amount of enthusiasm into any cooking activity and I did enjoy the cookout.
We ended up in a cooking class in the Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy that included a visit to the market. I indulged in my full “Auntie-dom” and truly enjoyed discovering unfamiliar herbs and vegetables.
Chef Bang was kind enough to allow me to use my miracle noodles (shirataki fettuccine noodles) to make pad thai – I was really really chuffed because I hadn’t eaten pad thai in 5 years and this was really doable at home. The rest of the curries were also really accessible and flavourful; there is nothing like making a curry paste from scratch. It was also fun to use the pestle and mortar again as it reminded me of squatting and pounding rempah under my grandmother’s instructions.
Coming back to Singapore I decided to make Thai Green Curry from scratch. Thai food actually has a lot of hidden sugars and there is a lot of palm sugar in everything, including savory dishes. I love the flavour of monkfruit sweetener which is slightly akin to coconut or palm sugar in flavour.
The other thing I did was to use my food processor and spice grinder to make the curry paste. It sure beats the sweaty work of slaving over a mortar. And again the Instant Pot made the curry a mere breath of cooking time which was crazily amazing given the short time I had to cook for a crowd.
This time in Bangkok I didn’t buy any curry pastes; I felt truly empowered knowing how to make the paste myself and being assured of the best flavoured curries ever. Thanks Chef Bang!
Two varieties of Thai eggplant, bird’s eye green chilli, Thai holy basil and kaffir lime leaves. These ingredients are what makes everything look Incredible Hulk green.
A bowlful of happy green curry paste!
Instant Pot Thai Green Chicken Curry
- 10 bird’s eye green chillis, deseeded
- 6 lemongrass stalks, white parts finely chopped
- 2 strips of large green lime rind (1 cm x 3 cm)
- 8 shallots, sliced
- 6 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1 knob of galangal, about 1 inch size, peeled and sliced
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted
- 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted
- 1/2 tbsp white peppercorns, toasted
- 1/2 tbsp sea salt
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 3-4 bunches of coriander stems/roots
- 15 leaves of Thai basil
- 1 kg chicken thigh meat, deboned and cut into 1 – 1 1/2 inch pieces
- 8 thai eggplant, quartered
- 12 thai pea eggplant, stems removed
- 200 g bamboo shoots, sliced
- 6-7 kaffir lime leaves, stems removed
- 200 ml coconut cream
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp sugar substitute (I used monkfruit sweetener; if not low carb use palm sugar or coconut sugar)
- 2 tbsp peanut oil (or other heat stable oil)
- Marinate the chicken thigh meat with 2 tbsp of fish sauce and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
- Toast the white peppercorns, coriander and cumin seeds over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Put the spices and sea salt into the spice grinder and grind till fine. Mix together with turmeric powder and set aside.
- In a food processor, blend the chillis and lemongrass together as finely as possible, then add the shallots, garlic, galangal, lime rind, coriander stems and basil and continue to pulse till fine.
- Remove and mix together with the spice mix, then grind even more finely in the spice grinder. This makes about a cup of curry paste that can be refrigerated for use in future.
- Turn on the sauté mode of the Instant Pot. Put in the peanut oil and fry 4-5 tbsp curry paste briefly for about a minute. (The rest of the curry paste can be refrigerated or frozen for future use). Add the coconut cream and stir, cooking about 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, chicken stock, chicken, Thai eggplant and pea eggplant, bamboo shoots, and kaffir lime leaves. Turn off the sauté mode, seal the pot and put the valve in sealed position. Put the pot on manual high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Do a quick pressure release. Add the remaining fish sauce, sugar substitute and Thai basil. Stir through and taste; adjust the seasonings accordingly.
- Serve hot with a side of cauliflower rice.