When you crave a home food in a foreign country, it’s not easy to find one exactly like what your mom makes. In India, most of the time when I order Thai food in the restaurants, I always find a little extra something undesirable in the dish. For example, the curries here are way thicker than what in Thailand. Sometime I detect corn flour flavor used to thicken the curry. It’s not needed. Thai curry is supposed to be light and fresh. Thai Green Curry, in Thai we called it Gaeng Keaw Wan, means green and sweet curry. Well, it’s not really sweet, but kind of savory sweet. The curry has grayish mild green in color and not literally green. When I come across a bright green curry, I suddenly want to laugh so hard sometimes.
As I told you many times before, there is nothing wrong in using packaged curry pastes. I used them all the time because every ingredient required in making Thai curry pastes are not available here. Thai ginger root or Krachai, for example, is nowhere to be seen here. Even in Thailand, most households buy readymade curry pastes from their favorite vendors in the fresh markets. We make Thai curry pastes at home in Thailand sometimes during the festival. The fresh curry pastes are more aromatic, and they give the curry a beautiful fragrance. But honestly, there is no shame in using the packaged curry paste at all.
Okay one thing I would like to add here: Thai curries are sometimes wonderful when you mix vegetables with proteins. This is the traditional way we make curries; not only because of the economical reason as the veggies help cutting down the cost of the meats which are expensive, but the veggies give nutrients and make the dishes more balance. But well, not all kinds of veggies should go in Thai curries. We DO NOT use zucchini, broccoli, baby corns or bell peppers… if you want to mix veggies with meat in the curry, try pumpkin, winter melon or eggplants.
Thai Prawn Green Curry with Eggplants
500 gm prawns- peeled and deveined
2 tbsp Thai green curry paste
200 gm eggplants- sliced (In Thailand we use pea eggplants or apple eggplants; I use local Indian eggplants as substitute)
1 ½ tsp sugar
Fish sauce to taste
1 ½ cup coconut cream
2 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp oil
Fresh chilies and basil for garnishing
Heat oil in the medium sauce pan, and add Thai green curry paste. Stir continuously over the medium heat until the oil rise to the surface, and the curry paste becomes fragrant.
Add vegetable stock and ½ cup coconut cream. Bring to boil.
Add sliced eggplants first because they take longer time to cook than the prawns. Cook for 3 minutes. The eggplants should be soft but not mushy.
Add the prawns and cook further until the prawns are curled and turned pink.
Add the rest of coconut cream, and season with sugar and fish sauce. Cook for another minute or so, and turn off the heat when the curry is about to boil. You don’t want to let it boil because the coconut cream will start to separate from the curry.
Garnish with chilies and basil. I don’t have basil here, but the basil will give the vibrant fresh aroma in the curry.
Serve hot with some cooked rice.