Clay's Kitchen : Tam Ra Ahan Thai (Thai Recipes) ตำราอาหารไทย

Tam Ra Ahan Thai (Thai Recipes) ตำราอาหารไทย

© Copyright 1995-2023, Clay Irving <>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA

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Phaenang Kai (Penang Curry with Chicken) แพนงไก่

Recipe from: Colonel Ian F. Khuntilanont-Philpott

Penaeng is a dry curry, probably originally "imported" from Malaysia. It can be prepared with any meat, and many fishes. This variety uses chicken.

Penaeng Curry Paste:
You can buy prepared curry pastes in many shops, but for the full flavour you should seriously consider the little effort involved in making your own. This was a back breaking chore when the pastes were prepared in a heavy mortar and pestle, but these days you can come very close to the same result using a food processor.

You can reduce the number of chillies used if you want a milder curry, but I don't recommend going to less than 10 chillies.

25-30 dried red chillies, shake them to discard the excess seeds.
2 tablespoons chopped shallots (purple onions)
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons of very finely sliced lemon grass
1 tablespoon grated galangal (use ginger if you can't find galangal)
1 teaspoon of toasted coriander seeds
2 tablespoons of chopped coriander root
1 tablespoon kapi (shrimp paste)
2 tablespoons of chopped freshly roasted peanuts.

Mix together to a fine paste in a food processor. This paste will keep under refrigeration. You can also freeze it; I suggest placing it in an old ice cube tray to make into curry paste cubes for ease of measurement later.

The prepared paste should be allowed to mature for two or three days before use to bring out the full flavour.

Note that it is better to make the paste milder than to use less than about 2 tablespoons in the final recipe.

The curry:

1 cup of chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
½ cup of coconut milk
1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
2 to 3 tablespoons of the curry paste
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
Sugar to taste
2 lime leaves, finely shredded
10-15 holy basil leaves, finely shredded

Place a wok over medium high heat, and warm the coconut milk, but don't let it boil. Add the curry paste, and stir it until the oil begins to separate out and form a thin film to bring out the maximum flavour. Add the remaining ingredients except the lime and basil leaves, and simmer until the sauce is absorbed and thickened. Then add the leaves and stir fry briefly before serving. Garnish with julienned red chillies, with steamed white rice, and the usual table condiments.

Note if you particularly like your curries hot, then replace the fish sauce in the cooking with nam pla prik (chillies marinated in fish sauce), that has had at least a week to mature.

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