Recipe: Chiang Mai-style curry

Chiang Mai-style curry

6 1/2 hours. Serves 8 to 12.

Housemade red curry

1 ounce (about 60) dried red chiles

About 2 3/4 tablespoons (.8 ounce) white peppercorns

About 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (.55 ounce) whole cumin seeds

About 3 1/2 tablespoons (.63 ounce) whole coriander seeds

About 1 tablespoon plus 1/8 teaspoon (.4 ounce) brown mustard seeds

About 18 cloves (2 1/2 ounces) garlic, minced

About 3 inches root (2.2 ounces) fresh ginger, minced

About 1 stalk (2.2 ounces) lemongrass, minced

1.13 ounce minced cilantro roots or stems (stems from about 1/2 of a 4-ounce bunch)

About 4 cloves (6.25 ounces) shallot, minced

About 3 tablespoons (2.125 ounces) shrimp paste

4 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, preferably 3 Crab

Zest from about 3 limes (.625 ounce)

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

1. Rehydrate the dried chiles by submerging them in a bowl of hot water until softened, 10 to 20 minutes. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, toast each of the spices individually. Place the peppercorns, cumin, coriander and mustard seeds in a dry skillet and heat over medium heat until aromatic, 2 to 4 minutes depending on the spice. Using a mortar and pestle, or in a spice or coffee grinder, grind the spices until smooth.

3. Grind the chiles, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, shallot and cilantro roots in a food processor or using a mortar and pestle.

4. Combine the spices with the ground chile mixture in a bowl, along with the shrimp paste, fish sauce and lime zest.

5. Heat a wide saute pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the grapeseed oil, and then the curry paste. Cook, stirring constantly to avoid burning, until the raw flavor is gone, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat. This makes a generous 2 cups curry paste, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. The paste should keep at least 1 week, covered and refrigerated.

Chaing Mai curry broth

2 tablespoons oil

5 pounds bone-in chicken leg quarters

About 1 cup (1/2 pound) Housemade Red Curry

Scant 1 cup (1/2 pound) red curry paste, preferably Mae Anong brand

1 2/3 quarts coconut cream, preferable Kara brand

About 3 1/2 inches root (2 1/2 ounces) fresh ginger, chopped

About 10 cloves (1 1/2 ounces) garlic, chopped

About 2 1/2 inches (3 ounces) galangal root, chopped

3 quarts water 3 quarts

4 dried red chiles 4

4 1/2 kaffir lime leaves

1 lime, cut in half

3 lemongrass stalks, bruised

1/2 pound light palm sugar, crumbled (about 1 1/2 cups)

3 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 1/4 cups fish sauce, preferably Tiparos brand

1. In a large, wide stockpot, heat the oil over high heat. Add the chicken and sear on all sides. Remove the chicken to a platter.

2. Stir in the housemade red curry, the red curry paste and coconut cream, scraping any flavorings from the bottom of the pan.

3. Add the ginger, garlic and galangal, and return the chicken to the pot. Simmer the mixture for 30 minutes to marry the flavors.

4. Stir in the water, dried chiles, lime leaves, lime and lemongrass. Cover the curry and gently simmer for 5 hours, stirring occasionally. During the last 30 minutes, stir in the palm sugar, soy sauce and fish sauce. Taste the curry and if needed adjust the seasoning with more sugar, soy or fish sauce.

5. Strain the curry through a medium sieve (the chicken will fall apart during cooking; discard it,or save the meat for another use). This makes a generous 3 quarts curry.

Note: Shrimp paste, red curry paste, galangal, coconut cream, kaffir lime leaves, light palm sugar, light soy sauce and fish sauce are available at most Thai markets and many Asian markets and cooking supply stores, as well as online. Serve the curry with thin rice noodles.

Per 1-cup serving:

calories 748

protein 4 grams

carbohydrates 120 grams

fiber 1 gram

fat 31 grams

saturated fat 27 grams

cholesterol 1 mg

sodium 2004 mg

sugar 107 grams

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