Ok, so first ... authentic? Yes, because I learnt to cook Thai curries exactly they way they were cooked and served and as customers enjoyed them and paid for them - in a Thai restaurant in Thailand cooked by Thai cooks!
So yes, they did use ready-made pastes. Granted, we bought the pastes from the market, a big scoop from a pile of paste into a bag, but a good paste is a good paste so just get the best you can. I get slightly irritated by TV chefs mixng up so-called easy pastes that include what seems to be any ingredient thought of as Thai - lime, ginger, coriander leaves ...
Anyway, onto the curry … I'm using chicken (gai) but of course you can use any meat, or prawns, or fish balls or tofu - anything you like.
Prawns, fishballs or tofu should go in later in the cooking process than the meat, not until nearer the end of cooking. I have to admit I don't cook with tofu often so if you do a version with this please do let me know in the comments how you cooked it!
You'll still make a good dinner without it, but ideally you do need to find a little jar of Thai sweet basil or horapha. I think I got mine in Waitrose and other supermarkets probably sell it too.
Update: 29.03.14. I can't currently find this at any supermarket although you can buy it online. From looking at Waitrose online it seems they are however selling a packet of fresh Thai sweet basil which would be even better. Another update: 05.06.15 Sainsbury's are selling own-label jars of Thai sweet basil.
So please join me in making a midweek easy-peasy delicious and authentic green curry for one. One very hungry and greedy one though - so obviously do adjust the amounts so it's right for you.
cooked rice to serve, so make this first
half - one chicken breast depending on hunger, greediness and size of chicken breast, sliced into small pieces
a large walnut-sized blob of curry paste (around a heaped tablespoon)
half a tin of coconut milk (preferably full fat; go on, just fast tomorrow if you have to)
0.75 teaspoon jarred Thai sweet basil or a handful of Thai sweet basil leaves
some green veg, chopped. I used broccoli and green beans; to be totally authentic you need to track down some Thai aubergines and peas ...
1 - 1.5 teaspoon sugar
1 - 1.5 teaspoon fish sauce or to taste
another 0.25 - 0.5 teaspoon jarred Thai sweet basil
Heat your wok or pan and add cooking oil.
When hot add the sliced meat and the curry paste and cook, stirring until the meat is sealed.
Add the coconut milk and the first amount of Thai sweet basil (3/4 of the handful if using fresh basil) and bring to the boil.
Throw in the green veg, reduce the heat and boil on a low boil for five or six minutes.
Add the sugar and fish sauce and cook for another minute.
Add the final amount of Thai sweet basil, stir in then remove from heat.
Pack the rice into a small plastic bowl and turn onto a plate and add the curry around or serve in a separate bowl.
And that's it!
I'll post a 'from-scratch' curry paste another day but for now I hope you make and enjoy what is actually a restaurant recipe!
Let me know if you made this and if you liked it ...