I have been making thai curries for about 2 years now. But I could never find lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves any where. So the curries would taste good but missed that zing. Recently I was able to find lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves at a local oriental store. This time the curry tasted very authentic. Here is some information about leomn grass anf kaffir lime leaves. I got this imformation from http://importfood.com/. You can visit their website. They also sell these products online. I was palnning to order it from them when I found about our local store.
Kaffir lime leaf adds an unmistakable, refereshing taste that is essential in many Thai soups & curries. The leaves have a strong fragrance and flavor that can not really be substituted. If you do not have the leaves, you can try adding lemon zest.If you do get them fresh, you can keep them in Ziploc bags and freeze them for upto 4 months.
Lemon grass also can be frozen and used as required.
1 tblsp oil
½ onion chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
1-2 tblsp Thai red curry paste (I use Mae ploy Brand)
2 chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
½ cup Mushrooms/thai eggplant/baby corn/bamboo shoots (any one or in combination)
2 cups coconut milk
1-2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon jaggery
1 stalk lemon grass cut into 1 inch pieces
2-3 kaffir lime leaves
1-2 tblsp lemon juice
4 large fresh basil leaves—finely sliced – optional (I just use coriander leaves)
HEAT the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook the onion for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the curry paste and fry for 2-3 mins. Add the chicken and stir fry for some time. Then the coconut milk fish sauce, jaggery and bring to the boil. Let the curry cook for 5 mins. Then add the vegtables, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves. Cook for 10 mins or till the vegetables and chicken get cooked. Then add lemon juice and remove from heat. Add the basil leaves or coriander. Serve hot with rice.
If you find the curry paste too spicy, you can increase the amount of coconut milk or add a little water.
For thicker curry, you can add a little cornstarch mixed with cold water and add it 2-3 mins before switching off the gas. I don’t add cornfour.
Fish sauce has a funny smell but in the curry you will not be able to smell it. It is used instead of salt and gives a lovely flavor.