Having spent 5 weeks hopping around Thailand recently, my latent passion for curries has intensified somewhat. Passion for certain curries, that is – my mouth is simply unable to find enjoyment in some of the more spicy curries, namely the ominous green curry. Now, you’re probably thinking “but I thought red curries were the hot ones?”, but it turns out that the opposite is true, with green curries being crammed with Bird’s Eye chillies to give them a particularly vicious kick. It’s probably a color thing – traditionally, the color red symbolizes warning and conjures up visions of heat and, incidentally, spicy red chillies.
But I digress. Red curries are great, and in particular the ever-popular Panang curry, otherwise known as “Phanaeng curry” and “penang curry” – take your pick! Panang curry is a personal favorite of mine as it has a deliciously rich, nutty flavor that lends a pleasant sweetness and has just the right amount of spicy zing. I find that ordering Panang curry from restaurants, however, can be kind of hit and miss – especially in Western restaurants, where they can lose their zest and become a bit bland.
Your best bet is to make your own – this way you can control the heat, make sure there’s plenty of good ingredients, get lots of healthy saturated fat, use good-quality meat, and ensure no nasty vegetable oils make their way into your meal (as they tend to do in your average restaurant dish). I’ve used chicken in this recipe as it makes for an amazing curry, but you can substitute chicken for any meat of your choosing, including beef, lamb, pork, fish or shrimp! Enjoy!
How did your Panang chicken curry turn out?
We’d love to know the results of your foray into Thai cuisine! Did you add too much spice or too little? Do you have a secret ingredient that you like to add to get that curry taste explosion?