A few decades ago there were not that many Thai restaurants in the US and the only Asian food that most Americans were familiar with was Chinese food. Now it seems like most Americans have not just heard of Thai food but they are quite familiar with what it entails and are quite aware of the intensity of heat that Thai food carries. It looks like the American palate has gone through a major change over the past two decades and now a sizable number of people here have developed a taste for hot and spicy food. When I first arrived in the US as a student, being Indian, I had a swagger about being able to handle spicy food and my favorite spiel about it was “Oh, I am Indian, spice runs through my veins!” But I was young, foolish and quite ignorant about what the three stars next to a dish in a Thai restaurant could signify. I was first introduced to Thai food at a small restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and there when I first tasted the green curry with three stars, all my bravado was knocked right off! I learned my lesson then and never again opted for the highest spice level offered by any Thai place. But even though I couldn’t handle the spiciest of their dishes, I did develop quite a taste for Thai food. I love the way their cuisine combines aromatic herbs (especially lemongrass, basil and fresh ginger) in perfect harmony with sweet, sour and savory elements. And unlike Indian food that I was most used to, the Thai keep their vegetable al dente and so the crunchiness brings in an additional element of texture to each of their dishes. I clearly LOVE Thai food and so I experiment with it often. If one uses the canned curry pastes that are quite easily available at Asian stores in the US, Thai curries are quite easy to prepare and they are indeed as yummy as those served in Thai restaurants. For Green curry I like to use all green vegetables – especially snow peas and green beans, but if you like any other vegetables, those will work well too. The traditional Thai green curry always has the green colored Thai eggplants which are available most Asian stores.
1. 2 lbs of boneless chicken thigh meat (it is after all Thai curry!)
2. 1/3 lbs of green beans
3. 1/3 lbs of snow peas
4. 3-4 spring onions
5. One can of coconut milk
6. One small can of green curry
7. One can of sliced water chestnuts
8. A few sprigs of Thai basil (or regular basil)
9. One tablespoon of cooking oil (I used corn oil)
10. One tablespoon of sugar
1. Cut the chicken thighs into bite sized pieces.
2. Open the cans of green curry, coconut milk and water chestnuts. Drain the water out of the water chestnuts.
3. Mix half the can of green curry paste with the chicken pieces and set this aside
4. Wash all the vegetables and cut them in bite sized pieces and set them aside.
5. Heat a medium sized pan on high heat and pour the cooking oil into it.