Recipe: Green curry of prawns

IT'S A THAI: Green curry of prawns.
IT'S A THAI: Green curry of prawns.

This authentic and satisfying curry is surprisingly easy to make.


Serves 4

250ml coconut cream

3 tbsp vegetable oil

6 kaffir lime leaves

4 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp grated palm sugar

500ml coconut milk

350g peeled green (raw) king prawns

4 wild green chillies, lightly crushed

3 long red chillies, halved and deseeded

10 Thai pea eggplants

5 apple eggplants, quartered

12 sweet Thai basil leaves

Green curry paste

5 coriander seeds

5 cumin seeds

5 white peppercorns

6 wild green chillies, chopped

3 long green chillies, deseeded and chopped

2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed, chopped

2 tbsp chopped galangal

10 red shallots, chopped

5 cloves garlic, chopped

3 coriander roots, scraped and chopped

1 tbsp chopped turmeric

finely grated zest of 1 kaffir lime

1 tsp Thai shrimp paste, wrapped in foil and roasted until fragrant


To make the curry paste, lightly roast the coriander and cumin seeds and peppercorns in a dry heavy-based pan.

Then grind to a powder in a coffee or spice grinder.

Pound the chillies, lemongrass, galangal, shallots, garlic, coriander roots, turmeric, zest and shrimp paste in a mortar with a pestle.

Pass all the ground and pounded ingredients through a mincer twice, or use a blender to process until smooth, adding a little water or oil if necessary.

You can also just keep pounding with the pestle to produce a fine paste.

Set 130g of paste (about 1/2 cup) aside for the curry.

Any leftover paste will freeze until next time.

To make the curry, place coconut cream and oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.

When the coconut cream splits (the oil and solids separate), add 130g of curry paste.

Crush the lime leaves in your hand, add them to the pan and fry for 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture is sizzling and aromatic (use your nose).

Add the fish sauce and cook for 1 minute.

Add the palm sugar and coconut milk and bring to the boil.

Add the prawns, chillies and eggplants and simmer gently for 4 minutes, or until the prawns are just cooked and the pea and apple eggplants are still a little crunchy.

Stir in the basil just before serving.