Green chicken, mushroom & cashew curry
I’ve already ‘come out’ as an Indian in disguise as a blonde, so I make no apologies for posting another curry recipe here … although this is more Thai-style than Indian, so perhaps I should start looking deeper into my roots (my family history roots, not my blonde ones)!
This recipe is loosely based on one by Lynn Bedford-Hall, whose recipes are always successes (and delish), which I found in her aptly-titled book, ‘Scrumptious’.
GREEN CHICKEN, MUSHROOM & CASHEW CURRY – Serves 3 – 4
1/2 cup raw cashew nuts, roasted (see how to roast your own just below the ingredient list)
2 Tblspns sunflower oil
2 tspns crushed fresh ginger (I use the bottled stuff, so much easier)
1 tspn ground cumin/jeera
2 stalks fresh lemon grass, just the white part with outer layer removed & bruised by pressing with the flat of a knife
1 punnet button mushrooms, sliced
2 – 3 Tblspns green curry paste (vary to suit your own taste if you’re not an Indian in disguise)
1 can coconut milk (or make your own – see how to do this below the recipe)
1/2 cup hot chicken stock
2 tspns soya sauce
1 Tblspn fish sauce (whatever you do, don’t smell this stuff unless you have a stomach of steel)!
1 bunch (5-6) spring onions, topped, tailed and chopped
500g chicken stir-fry (or fillets, cut into thin strips)
2 tspns cornflour
3 Tblspns fresh coriander (dhania) chopped
To roast the cashews, preheat the oven to 175C. Spread the nuts in a single layer onto a baking tray and cook in the oven for 10-20 minutes, stirring often. Watch carefully and remove from the oven as soon as they’re almost the right colour, as they go from pine to blackwood in a matter of nanoseconds! Set aside until needed. (If you want the cashews for eating, drizzle about 1 tspn oil over the hot nuts and stir to coat before adding salt to taste, stirring well until they’re the way you like them).
Now for the curry …
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the ginger, cumin, lemon grass and mushrooms then cook for a few minutes until the mushrooms soften.
Add the curry paste, stir well and cook for another 1-2 minutes before adding the cocounut milk, stock, soya sauce, stinky-fish sauce and spring onions.
Bring to the boil then add the chicken strips.
Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until the chicken is cooked, about 10 minutes. Add the cashews and stir through.
Combine the cornflour and water and add to the curry, stirring well, until thickened to taste. Stir in the coriander.
Remove the stalks of lemon grass and serve with rice, sprinkled with extra cashews (if you’ve been able to resist eating them in the meantime)!
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN COCONUT MILK
This useful tip came from a brilliant Asian cookbook, with recipes from every Asian country – the usual ones, but also places like Cambodia, Burma, Laos, Singapore & Korea etc.
Pour 2 cups of desiccated coconut into the cup of your blender. Add 2 1/2 cups of hot water then blend for 30 seconds.
Strain through a fine sieve – discard the coconut and the liquid is your coconut milk!