Easy Thai green vegetable curry
I was going to give you a recipe for a hearty beef stew but we suddenly seem to be plunged back into summer weather again. So here's an easy Thai veggie curry instead from my new book Appetite for Ale which I've written with my son Will. The taste of the dish will depend on the type of green curry paste you use - try and buy an authentic one, though it will be hotter than commercial brands like Blue Dragon.
Vegetarian - and vegan if you don't use the yoghurt
Time: about 45 mins including time to salt the aubergines
Cost: About £1.25 - £1.30 a head
1 medium-sized aubergine
100g fine green beans
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 bunch of spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced*
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2-3 tbsp Thai green curry paste depending how hot you like your curry
1 x 400g tin of coconut milk
150g baby sweetcorn
100g sugar snap peas or frozen peas
3 heaped tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander leaves + a few extra leaves for decoration
4-5 lime leaves, finely shredded * (optional but good)
Juice of 1-2 limes (2-3 tbsp)
1-2 tsp light soy sauce
Trim the stalk off the aubergine and cut into cubes. Sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 minutes then rinse well. Trim the ends off the beans and cut in half. Cook in boiling water for a minute, rinse with cold water and set aside. Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a wok, add the cubed aubergine and stir fry until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add a little extra oil to the pan and fry the onion until beginning to soften (about 4-5 minutes) Add the crushed garlic and half the spring onions, stir in 2 tablespoons of Thai green curry paste then pour in the coconut milk and stir again. Bring up to simmering point, add the blanched beans, sweetcorn and sugar snap peas and cook until tender (about 3-4 minutes). Return the aubergine to the wok along with the remaining spring onions and heat through. Stir in the fresh coriander and lime leaves and season to taste with lime juice, soy sauce and a little extra curry paste if you feel it needs it. Turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes before serving with boiled rice.
* To finely slice the onions, trim them, cut them lengthways into halves or quarters then cut three or four times across.
* To shred the lime leaves, cut away the central tough rib then roll them up and slice them finely
* You can obviously add some cubed or sliced chicken to this if you want to turn it into a Thai chicken curry. About two cubed, skinless, boneless chicken thighs would be the right amount. Add them with the chopped onion
* This goes really well with a Belgian or Northern French witbier (light wheat beer) like Hoegaarden