Thai Red Curry with Chicken and Eggplant

 This is not only my first time with I Heart Cooking Clubs, (IHCC) but a first with this week's featured chef, Madhur Jaffrey.   I don't have any of her cookbooks as yet, though Indian cooking is a longtime favorite of mine, so this Chicken Thai Red Curry was sourced from the BBC Recipes pages.  Not strictly Indian, but a Thai version of curry.  Just as a side note: do you think it at all apropos that my current read happens to be The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken by Tarquin Hall??  Well, I thought it was funny.

I substituted eggplant for the canned bamboo shoots (sorry just hate those), and took the easy course, by not making my own red curry paste, as we have a very good brand available here, and using my left-over teriyaki chicken.

 The eggplant were sliced about 3/4" thick, both sides brushed with macadamia nut oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, then oven roasted at 375F for 25 minutes, and set aside til needed.  I so often mess up with this vegetable, not cooking it enough, but this ensured a perfect texture and taste.

Chicken Thai Red Curry
  • 450g/1lb boned and skinned chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil
  • 400ml/14fl oz can of coconut milk, left undisturbed for three hours or more
  • 5 tbsp red curry paste
  • 140g/5oz sliced bamboo shoots from a can, drained and rinsed (I think bell pepper or eggplant would be better)
  • 4 fresh kaffir lime leaves or 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tsp thick tamarind paste or lemon juice
  • 1 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 15-20 fresh Thai (holy) basil leaves or ordinary basil leaves
  1.  For the curry, cut the chicken breasts cross ways into 3mm/1/8in thick slices.
  2. Heat the oil in a wide, preferably non-stick, pan set over a medium-high heat.
  3. Carefully open the can of coconut milk without disturbing it too much. Remove four tablespoons of the thick coconut cream that will have settled at the top and place in a small bowl. Stir the remaining contents of the can well and set aside.
  4. When the pan is hot, add the coconut cream and stir. Add the curry paste and stir again. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes or until the oil separates and the paste is lightly browned.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and add the chicken, bamboo shoots, (or if using eggplant, cut them again by stacking and slicing into quarters), reserved coconut milk, lime leaves (or lemon zest), fish sauce, tamarind paste (or lemon juice) and the palm sugar (or brown sugar).
  6. Stir together well and bring to a simmer. The chicken should turn white and cook through by the time the first bubbles begin to appear. Simmer on a low heat for a further minute or two.
  7. Just before serving, sprinkle the basil leaves over the curry, stir gently and remove from the heat. Serve with jasmine rice.  

I served mine with rice (a mix of wild, brown long-grain and white basmati), guava chutney and sliced fresh starfruit alongside.  It turned out really well, especially tasty with the combination of chicken, oven roasted eggplant and all those exotic spices.  Now I'm looking forward to trying more Jaffrey recipes, to begin with by checking out what's being posted at IHCC.  Will also share over at Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking meme. You can link up what you're cooking over the weekend and get inspired by others.


flour.ish.en said...

After following M. Jeffrey's recipe and cooked an Indian curry, I finally recognize the difference between that and a Thai curry. I agree eggplant is a better choice than canned bamboo shoots. Welcome to cooking along with us!

Vicki said...

I love anything with curry, and I love chicken and eggplant. Pinning this recipe.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Hawaii is in the house! ;-) So happy to have you cook along with us at IHCC this week. Jaffrey is such a treasure trove of recipes from India and Asia. I adore curry in all of its forms and discovering how each culture interprets it and makes it their own. Thai red curries are among my favorites--love the flavor profiles. Yes to adding the eggplant instead of bamboo shoots and to using a good prepared curry paste. I took a cooking class in Thailand and the instructor showed us how to make a green curry paste but told us he doesn't like the hassle and almost always uses a prepared paste for the ease--works for me! ;-)

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

I wish I liked curry, it's such a popular food here.

Debbie Rodgers said...

I also have a good red curry paste so I'm happy to find this recipe. I must try it this week!

Carole said...

Just love those Thai flavours - but don't have it often now that I've discovered just how onion/garlic doesn't agree with me. Cheers from Carole's Chatter!

Beth F said...

I love Madhur Jaffrey's recipes and this one with eggplant instead of bamboo shoot looks pretty yummy. Now you've inspired me to add curry to next week's meal plan.

Zosia said...

Welcome to IHCC! Chicken and roasted eggplant in a Thai curry sounds like a winning dish to me.

kitchen flavours said...

Hi Claudia,
Great to have you cooking with us at IHCC!
Using eggplant is a wonderful substitution for the bamboo shoots. I am not a fan of bamboo shoots either. This curry looks delicious, perfect with rice!

Tina said...

I'm not a huge fan of curry but I surely do love eggplant. I like how you cooked the eggplant.

TeaLady said...

Welcome to IHCC. It's a great group.

Love your dish with Madjur. She is my favorite for Indian cuisine.