This one came about by accident ... on an evening when I'd been planning to make my quick beef rendang, but then realised I was missing several ingredients including, pretty crucially, the steak.
Also, I didn't have any lemongrass, but did have lime leave so decided to play up the lime flavour and see what I could make.
It's now a favourite, made for itself.
I think it would work well with mushrooms in place of the chicken for a vegetarian version.
Cook some rice while you prepare the ingredients, and it can then sit and steam while you cook the curry.
I made this just for me, so portions are for one, but it's easy to scale up and not an exact science anyway really, more about what you've got in, how hungry you are, and what tastes good!
But I used:
a small piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 a teaspoon turmeric powder (when I first made this, I didn't have any, so just leave it out if you don't either)
a couple of lime leaves, torn from the stalks and chopped into very small pieces (if you don't have lime leaves try the zest of a lime)
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1-2 red birds eye chillies (depending on your taste - I like it spicy!), finely sliced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 whole cloves, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 onion, peeled and sliced
1 small chicken breast
2 teaspoons cooking oil or use a spray oil
1/2 tin coconut milk (or like me, find a cute mini-tin!)
1 stick of cinnamon, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 - 1 juicy lime (to your taste - I like lots of lime)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few cherry tomatoes, halved
Thai sweet basil, if you have it, or if not perhaps a small handful of baby spinach leaves (or just leave this out)
Put the ginger, turmeric, lime leaves, garlic, chillies, coriander, cumin and cloves into a mortar, add a splash of water and use a pestle or rolling pin to pound into a beautiful paste.
Slice the onion and the chicken so they're ready to go.
Add the oil to a non-stick pan and when hot tip in the spice mixture so it sizzles.
Stir for maybe 30 seconds to a minute - until it releases that beautiful fragrance - and add another little splash of water if you think it needs it.
Then add the onions and chicken - and another splash of water - and cook, stirring often, until the chicken has sealed - about three minutes.
Tip in the coconut milk then add the cinnamon, lime juice, sugar and salt.
Stir to mix and then simmer for ten minutes, stirring regularly, then add the tomatoes and cook for another five minutes.
Throw in the Thai basil or spinach, if using, remove from the heat and stir in to wilt.
Serve with rice and a couple of slices of a milder red chilli - I just do this because it looks nice and because I love chilli, so don't add it if you don't want to!
If I don't have the Thai basil or spinach, I might also top with some fresh chopped coriander leaves, but I know a lot of people don't like coriander, so this is only if you like it of course!