You can substitute 2 heaping tablespoons of store-bought green curry paste for the homemade paste in this recipe.
You can also substitute regular sweet basil if Thai basil is hard to find.
For the green curry paste:
- 2 teaspoons cumin seed, lightly toasted
- 2 teaspoons coriander seed, lightly toasted
- 2 medium mild green chilies, seeded and chopped
- 1 medium shallot, chopped
- 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- Zest of 1 lime
- 4 fresh makrut (kaffir) lime leaves, torn
- 1 5-inch piece lemongrass, pale yellow portion only, chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro stems (reserve the leaves for the curry)
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
For the chicken curry:
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 shallot, sliced thin
- 1 can whole coconut milk, shaken
- 1 medium bell pepper, cut into strips (or use a mix of colors as I did here)
- 1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed
- 1/4 cup chopped Thai basil leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 4 large lime wedges, to serve
- Cooked white or brown rice, to serve (optional)
1 Toast the spices for the curry paste: Set a small skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and toast, shaking the pan often until the spices have darkened slightly and are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
Set aside to cool, and then grind with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder.
2 Make the green curry paste: Pulse to combine the cumin, coriander seed, and remaining curry paste ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Scrape down sides, then process continuously until the mixture is smooth. Spoon into a container with a lid and refrigerate until needed.
This paste is best used right away, but will keep in the fridge for 3 days; it makes enough for two recipes and can also be frozen.
3 Sear the chicken: Salt the chicken on both sides, then slice across the grain into 1/2-inch thick strips. Set a large skillet over high heat. Add the coconut oil, and then chicken.
Sear until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes total. (It's fine if the chicken is not totally cooked through at this point.) Transfer the chicken to a plate.
4 Prepare the coconut curry: Lower the heat to medium high. Add shallot and cook for 1 minute. Stir in 2 heaping tablespoons of the green curry paste and cook 1 minute more.
Add 1/4 cup of the coconut milk, stirring well to scrape up any brown bits. Then add remaining coconut milk and bring mixture to a gentle boil.
5 Simmer the curry with chicken and veggies: Add chicken pieces, sliced peppers, and green beans. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook at a gentle simmer for 20 minutes.
At the end of cook time, stir in cilantro and basil.
6 Serve the curry: Serve over rice. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and a lime wedge.