It has been a while since I last posted. The restaurant is going really well and I am loving every second of it. Waking up to go to work still makes me happy every single day. I have planned to post this recipe way back when I made this curry from scratch. I am not a huge fan of yellow curry because I tend to go for something spicier, like green curry. However, this is the most ordered curry of all curries because of its subtle flavor of dry and fresh herbs and spices. The addition of curry powder always reminds people of Indian Curry. The fresh spices of lemongrass, galangal, shallots and garlic complement the dried spices and make this a well-balanced curry. It is a hybrid of Thai and Indian curry. Southeast Asia is a melting pot of two oldest cuisines of the world, Indian and Chinese.
This recipe calls for dry toasting spices in a pan on the stove before making the paste. Ideally, you should toast them separately. I shortcut and toasted some of the spices together. I toasted garlic and shallots in the same pan. I also combined ginger, lemongrass and galangal to toast them together. For dried spices like cumin and coriander, you want to toast them separately because they burn easily. Toast the dried spices until they become fragrant.
I also added a few small dried chilies to make the curry spicier. I wasn’t able to find large dried Thai chilies so I subbed dried New Mexico chilies and it worked out perfectly.
It is important that you not shake the cans of coconut milk. The top part of the can which is creamier, and of course fattier, will help fry the paste without adding anymore oil.
I made this paste using Vitamix blender. I have to say that I am very impressed with the consistency of the paste made from this workhorse machine. A traditional mortar and pestle will remain the best tool for making curry paste, of course. But shaving 45 minutes off my time and still achieving the consistency of the handmade curry paste, I will have to give in.
for the paste6 dried long red Thai chilies, soaked and seeded3 small dried red Thai chilies
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon chopped ginger, toasted
1 teaspoon chopped galangal, toasted1 tablespoon chopped lemongrass, toasted3 shallots, toasted7 cloves garlic, toasted
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
for the curry
2 (13.5-ounce) cans coconut milk6 chicken legs
1⁄2 cup Yellow Curry Paste1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 cups cubed potatoes
1 medium onion, chopped into bite-size pieces
Make the paste using a mortar and pestle by adding ingredients one at a time in the order given. Pound one ingredient until it’s broken up in small pieces before adding the next one. When all ingredients are added, continue pounding until it forms a fine paste. Alternatively, place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. You might need to add half of the ingredients at a time.
Do not shake the coconut milk. Scoop the cream on top of both of coconut milk cans, about halfway down, into a medium saucepan. Bring coconut cream to a boil over medium heat. Stir in curry paste and mix well. Turn down the heat to medium low. Simmer, without stirring, until fragrant and coconut cream starts to release some oil, about 3–5 minutes. You will start to see bright yellow oil floating on top of the surface. The aroma will fill up the room. Don’t worry, as long as you have the heat at medium low, the coconut cream will not burn. Stirring will stop the frying process and the paste will not be as fragrant.
Add chicken legs to the fried paste and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minute, stir once or twice in between. Add the rest of coconut milk from the two cans to the pot. Bring back to a boil. Season with sugar and fish sauce. Turn down to simmer and let simmer for 30 minutes. Add potatoes, onions and stir to mix. Let simmer for another 10 minutes. .Taste and adjust as needed. Curry is best to rest for 30 minutes before serving. Better yet, make the curry a day ahead.