Thai Green curry

After 12 long years of ups and downs, happiness and sorrow, after 12 summers, 12 diwalis, 12 pongals, 12 Aadi thizhuvizhas and innumerable “everydays”, she broke up. I missed her when she was away, more than I missed Jagan when he was away on business. She completed us. She knew where Yuvi’s black hotwheels car was, that the uniforms were not ironed, that the umbrella was broken. She knew where was what. She was the silent lever that kept the whole house running like clockwork. I cannot believe she is gone and I cannot imagine how I am to go on.

thai green curry

Not a day would pass without looking for her arrival each morning. I doubt you’ll understand the pain I went through when she did not turn up someday. I’d run my conversations over and over in my head to be sure I had not irked her in some way. Now she is gone for good.

Where am I to find a maid like her? Ok, I admit it. I may have feelings for her.


Ever since she broke up (I’d say quit if I didn’t care about her), I’ve been running around the house like a mad woman, racing against time trying to multi-task at a multi-level – loading the washing machine while rice, idli and tadka (tempering) pan are on the stove, and running out to pluck some curry leaves and running back to a blackened pan to throw in the curry leaves, scrubbing the vessels while sambar is simmering, ignoring the calling bell (go back, come back in 2 months) making N coffee/teas one at a time (morning coffee/tea drinkers never preferring to converge, each inevitably asks for theirs at a unique time), taking out the compost and absentmindedly opening the lid without knocking and jumping at the sight of the lizard and running all around the house and coming back to check if it is gone, all the while yelling to the kids to brush teeth, bathe themselves, water the money plant and get the hell down here to help me with the lizard.
thai green curry

In spite of this great loss, I managed to make this Thai green curry last weekend. I had to move on. I needed to treat myself after a hell of a week. Thai food is among my most favourite foods. I absolutely love Thai curries. Thai green curry has been on my list ever since I made Thai red curry at home to a rousing applause (mine mostly, and Jagan’s). So here it is. I used the recipe in Nita Mehta’s book as a base and tweaked it ever so slightly. You can make this a vegetarian one by skipping the chicken and using more vegetables instead. I did a combo version with some veggies and some chicken. You could go either way. The shrimp paste adds that wonderful umami punch although you could do away with it too.

thai green curry

The great thing about this recipe is it doesn’t use any hard-to-find expensive ingredients. You wouldn’t have to import anything from Thailand. But it tastes just as incredible – fresh and aromatic with a strong lemony, herby note yet luscious and mellow with all that lovely coconut milk. Spoon it over hot steamed rice. Enjoy!
Thai green curry
Serves 4
Herby and lemony yet luscious and mellow, this made from scratch Thai green curry is absolutely gorgeous!
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
  1. For the Thai green curry paste
  2. Green chillies – 10 (stalks removed)
  3. Chopped Ginger – 2 tbsp
  4. Peeled Garlic – 2 tbsp
  5. Shallots – 5-7 peeled
  6. Coriander roots and stems chopped – ½ cup
  7. Coriander leaves – ½ cup loosely packed + 2 tbsp for garnish
  8. Fresh lemon grass or lemon grass powder – 3 tbsp (if using fresh lemon grass, use the tender inner stem only)
  9. Lemon leaves – 10 leaves (chiffonade – roll up tightly and slice them)
  10. Shrimp paste – ¼ tsp (optional)
  11. Whole Coriander seeds – 2 tbsp
  12. Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
  13. Whole black peppercorns – ½ tbsp.
  14. For the curry
  15. Chopped Vegetables (fairly large pieces) – 2 cups (I used mushrooms, capsicum and babycorn)
  16. Chicken – 2 breast pieces cut into cubes (If you want to make a veg version, skip the chicken and add one more cup of veggies)
  17. Salt to taste
  18. Brown sugar – 1/2 tsp (optional)
  19. Coconut milk – from 1 whole coconut (about 2-3 cups, keep the first thick extract and the second thin extract separate)
  20. Fresh basil/ Basil powder – 1 tbsp (for garnish)
  21. Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp (for garnish)
  22. Lemon leaves – 5 (for garnish)
  23. Oil – 3 tbsp
  1. Toast whole coriander seeds, cumin seeds and whole black peppercorns in a pan until fragrant and toasted. Set aside.
  2. Combine all ingredients called for under curry paste in a mixer/grinder along with the toasted spices and grind to a fine paste adding a little water to help along.
  3. To a deep pan, add the 3 tbsp oil. When the oil is hot, stir in the curry paste. Fry the curry paste for about 3-4 minutes, stirring every now and then to prevent it from burning.
  4. Throw in the chopped vegetables and chicken if using. Stir everything, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or till vegetables and chicken are cooked through.
  5. Pour in the second extract of the coconut milk – the thinner one, stir gently to incorporate the spice paste into the coconut milk. Add salt and brown sugar. Add a couple of lemon leaves. Add basil leaves/basil powder now. Taste and adjust seasoning. Increase heat to medium and let curry come to a boil.
  6. Lower heat and pour in the first thick extract of the coconut milk. Stir everything. Taste and adjust seasoning. When curry comes to a boil, switch off. Garnish with coriander leaves and more lemon leaves. Serve hot with steamed long grained rice. Enjoy!
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