A thick, salty and sweet curry with a nutty flavour. I love Thai food and many years ago was lucky to have spent some time travelling around Thailand, whilst there I visited a cooking school. It was great to learn how to make authentic curries, and visit the amazing food markets to pick out all of the lovely ingredients and spices. This curry is the sweeter of the Thai curries, it has a thick gravy unlike the green curry and has a slight nutty taste. I have adapted the recipe to have spices and ingredients more readily available when not in Thailand.

  • Paste
  • 10 red chillies, seeds removed
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 20 g coriander, stems only
  • 2 tsps coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 black cardamoms, seeds only
  • 2 tbsps unsalted peanuts
  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • 3 anchovies (original is 1 tsp. shrimp paste)
  • 25 g galangal, peeled
  • 1 lemongrass root; just use the lower 1/3
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Curry
  • 500 g pork tenderloin, sliced into strips
  • 400 ml tin of coconut milk (reserve a little milk for drizzling)
  • 1 lemongrass, bashed
  • 10 g fresh basil leaves, sliced into thin strips
  • 7 lime leaves, fresh if you can find them, or dried is ok
  • 2 tbsps fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar

Paste: You can use a pestle and mortar as I did in Thailand, it is hard work and will give you extra muscles! Or just use a blender which I have here, my cooking tutor would be so disappointed in me!

  •   Dry roast the nuts, set aside.
  •   Dry fry the coriander, cumin, peppercorns and black cardamom until you can smell an aroma.
  • Add all of the above with the chillies, shallot, coriander stems, nutmeg, anchovies, peanuts, galangal, lemongrass and salt.  Blend into a paste.

Curry: In Thailand half of the coconut milk is used first and reduced down to make an oil for frying.

  • Empty half the coconut milk tin into a wok and reduce it until you see the oil separate, will take around 5 minutes.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of the paste and cook this for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the pork and coat in the paste, cook until each piece is white, then add the lemongrass and the rest of the coconut milk, stir well.
  • Add the sugar, the lime leaves and the fish sauce.  Cook for a few minutes more before adding most of the basil, (reserve some strands for serving). Mix well.
  •   Serve with an extra sprinkle of basil and a drizzle of the reserved coconut milk.