Ingredients for green curry paste.
Freshly made green curry paste in a mortar
Green curry (Thai: แกงเขียวหวาน, RTGS: kaeng khiao wan, IPA: [kɛːŋ kʰjǎw wǎːn], literally sweet green curry) is a variety of curry in Thai cuisine. The name "green" curry derives from the color of the dish. Green curries tend to be as hot as red curries or hotter. The green color comes from fresh thai basil and green chillies. The "sweet" in the Thai name (wan means "sweet") refers to the particular color green itself and not to the taste of the curry. As this is a Thai curry based on coconut milk and fresh green chillies, the color comes out creamy mild green or, as this color is called in Thai, "sweet green". The curry is not necessarily sweeter than other Thai curries.
The main ingredients for the sauce consist of coconut milk, green curry paste, eggplant (aubergine), pea aubergine, sugar, fish sauce, and Thai basil leaves. The consistency of its sauce varies with the amount of coconut milk used. Green curry paste is made by pounding in a mortar green chillies, shallots, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime peel, coriander root or cilantro root (but not the leaves), roasted coriander and cumin seeds, white peppercorns, shrimp paste and salt. The paste is briefly fried in split coconut cream that is cooked until it give out the oil (the curry paste need to be cooked at high temperature so the ingredients release the aromas and oil can give a higher temperature to cook them). It can be cooked in oil (preferably coconut oil) if the fresh coconut cream isn't available and canned coconut cream have to be used. The canned coconut milk or cream has some additive added and that prevent the coconut cream or milk from splitting and give out the coconut oil. Once the curry paste is cooked (in general about 2-3 minutes over medium high heat with plenty of coconut cream add when it dried from the heat) then coconut milk, meat or fish, and vegetables can be added along with a pinch of palm sugar, dash or fish sauce to taste. Finally, Thai basil are added just at the end of cooking for fragrance. Kaffir lime leaves or phrik chi fa ("sky-pointing chilies", large mild chilies, Serrano chili like)can be added as an option. If the curry is made with fish or seafood, krachai (fingerroot, wild ginger, Chinese keys) julienne thinly can be added. Thai green curry can be made using readily available commercially made curry paste.
Thai green curry can be made with all kinds of meat. However, the more popular ones are made with beef, pork, chicken, and fish ball. The green curry is usually eaten with rice as part of a wider range of dishes in a meal, or with round rice noodles known as khanom chin as a single dish. It can also be served with roti, an Indian style flatbread, similar to the roti canai in Malaysia.
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