Aug 02 2014

Thai Fish Curry

Thai Fish Curry

Thai Fish Curry

A Thai delicacy, Thai fish curry has captured the heart of many Thai cuisines fans…. including me. The only problem for the people who are living out of South East Asian countries, we don’t really find the proper ingredients to cook these delicacies, such as lemon grass, lime leaves, etc. Even if they are available, they are normally come in dried forms and they are quite expensive. In Kolkata itself, these dried ingredients are imported from Thailand and we can find them in hypermarkets or supermarkets.

But thanks to modern time, the curries now are also available in ready made. They came in packages or jars, and they already contained the spices and herbs required to make the good Thai curries.

I normally purchased my ready made Thai curry from Spencer, one of it’s chains is not far from my home and it is basically my most favourite mart to buy all my groceries.

Thai Curry Paste

Thai Curry Paste

For this dish, I’m using a ready made red curry paste and coconut milk powder. Basically, you can use all type of Thai red curry paste and fresh coconut milk. But not all the time I want to spend so much time in cook preparation, especially in preparing coconut milk. In Indonesia, we can purchase the fresh coconut and the seller would clean the coconut and grate it for us if we enquire. In Calcutta especially in my area, we have to do all these by ourselves. A few years ago, I spent a whole day asking the coconut sellers, if they can peel the coconut flesh for me. All of them told me that they can cut the coconut into 2 for me and that I have to take out the flesh from the shell by myself, and believe me, I have tried before and it wasn’t an easy job. Fortunately, I found one seller who is willing to take out the coconut flesh for me, and I have been a regular customer since then.

To prepare the coconut milk, we need to grate the coconut flesh, I normally use the blender. Add some water to the grated coconut and give it a good massage. Take a whole palm of wet grated coconut and squeeze out the coconut milk. The first batch of coconut milk which come out, is called “thick coconut milk”. Add more water to the grated coconut which we have squeezed to get the thick coconut milk, and repeat the whole process. Put the second batch of the coconut milk in different bowl. The second batch of the coconut milk is called thin coconut milk.

In most of South East Asian cusines, we cook the dish using the thin coconut milk first, the thick coconut milk is added when the cooking is almost done. This is to avoid the extra layer of oil from the coconut milk  in the dish. If we add the thick coconut milk too early, the milk might separate.

I normally always keep the dried coconut powder ready in my home, if I want to make a quick dish which required coconut milk, I just need to take it out from my refrigerator and add some water to it.

Here is the ingredients to make Thai fish curry using ready made red curry:

  • 4 table spoons ready made Thai red curry
  • About 200 ml thick coconut milk
  • 500 grams fish – as per your choice
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • A sprinkle of sugar
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tsp chilli powder to give that extra hot and spicy
  • 200 ml thin coconut milk or water

Optionally, you can add mushrooms, baby corn, long beans or any other vegetables of your choice. Replace the fish with mushroom and tofu to make it vegetarian.

How to cook:

  •  Heat oil in the pan
  • Add the ready made red curry, stir until the fragrant smells comes out for about 1 minutes
  • Add the thin coconut milk or water, and boil
  • Add the salt, sugar and chilli powder
  • Add the fish, and cook
  • When the fish is almost done, add the thick coconut milk and leave it to boil.

Ready to be served with warm steamed rice :)

 

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