green curry (serves 4)

4 stalks lemon grass, outer leaf removed
6 green chillies, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
thumb of ginger or galangal, peeled
2 shallots, peeled
2 handfuls of coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp lime zest
juice of 1 lime
1 tb fish sauce / to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
small pumpkin peeled and chopped
2 large aubergines, chopped into fat chunks
3 tb vegetable oil
1 tin coconut milk
400 ml vegetable stock
2 tsp fresh green peppercorns
thai basil leaves

Blend first 9 ingredients including half the coriander in food processor to a coarse paste. Brown vegetables in oil a bit over highish heat, add 4 tb of paste and stir well.

Add liquids and peppercorns, simmer til tender. Add more paste if required, and cook a little longer. Whole cooking process should take 10 mins. Garnish with remainder coriander and basil and serve with rice.

This is an all-purpose beast. Other possibilities: chicken, mushrooms, spinach, fish, prawns.

Source: Nigel Slater ‘Appetite’

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