This is a really popular and delicious curry which I first published in Seasonal Entertaining (Harper Collins). For best results, use a good quality curry paste such as Charmaine Solomon’s.
- vegetable oil - 1 tablespoon
- coconut milk - 2 x 410ml tins
- red curry paste - 2 -3 tablespoons, good quality
- chicken thighs - 8, cut in 3cm pieces, and trimmed
- chicken stock - 500ml - 750ml (or use water)
- butternut pumpkin - 1.5kg, peeled and cut in chunks
- Thai fish sauce - 150ml
- white sugar (or palm sugar) - 1 - 2 tablespoons
- salt - to taste
- kaffir lime leaves - 6 - 8, torn
- lemongrass - 1 stalk, cut in 5cm lengths and smashed, white part only
- pea eggplants - 125g, stalks removed (optional)
- green chillies - 3 medium, sliced on the diagonal and deseeded
- Thai holy basil - 1/2 bunch, leaves only
- red chillies - for garnishing (optional)
Serves 6 - 8
Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Add the top of the coconut milk (from both tins) and simmer for five minutes. Add the red curry paste and simmer until the oil begins to separate, stirring frequently.
Add the remaining coconut milk to the pan, bring to simmering point, then add the chicken. Let simmer 5 - 10 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and pumpkin and bring back to simmering point. Add the Thai fish sauce, sugar, salt to taste, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, pea eggplants and chillies and leave to simmer very gently until chicken and pumpkin are cooked, 20 - 30 minutes. Be careful not to overcook as the pumpkin can become mushy. It should taste hot, sour, salty and sweet.
Can be garnished with red chillies. Excellent served with steamed jasmine rice.