Discover the Secret to Perfectly Spiced Panang Curry – Authentic Recipe!

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Sawaddee ka, lovely readers! Today, I’m excited to share with you one of my favorite Thai recipes, the Panang Curry. This dish is a delicious and flavorful curry that's not only famous in Thailand but also around the world. It’s a must-try for anyone who loves Thai food or wants to explore new tastes.

Panang Curry is a rich and creamy dish that’s made with coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, meat (or tofu), and a blend of herbs and spices. This curry is known for its intense flavor and hints of sweetness and spiciness. The ingredients used in this dish are a perfect reflection of Thai culture's combination of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors.

The secret to the perfect spiced Panang Curry lies in the balance of the spices used. The key is to create the perfect blend of salty, sweet, sour, and spicy taste that will tantalize your taste buds. In this blog post, I’ll guide you through the process of making a delicious, authentic Panang Curry with just the right amount of spice. So, are you ready to take a culinary journey to Thailand and discover the secrets of making this dish? Let’s get started!

Ingredients needed for Panang Curry

When it comes to Thai cuisine, Panang Curry is one of the most popular and beloved dishes from the country. This rich and flavorful curry has a unique taste that is loved by both locals and foreigners alike. If you're a fan of Thai food or just want to try something new, then you must try making this delicious dish at home.

Here's what you'll need for the recipe:

  • 2 lbs chicken breasts (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 2 tbsp oil (coconut oil preferably)
  • 1 can (14 oz) of coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup of Panang curry paste
  • 1/4 cup of roasted peanuts (crushed)
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 tbsp of Tamarind paste
  • 1/2 a tsp of salt

All of these ingredients are easily available at any local grocery store and can be purchased for a reasonable price. You may notice that some of them seem unusual, but don't worry, we will dive into the recipe in detail.

Preparing the Curry Paste

The first step in making the perfect Panang Curry is to prepare the curry paste. Don't be tempted to skip this part and buy pre-made curry paste because the homemade version is far more flavorful and authentic. Here's how to make it:

  • In a blender, add 5 dried red chilies (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes) and blend until it becomes a paste consistency.
  • Add remaining ingredients: 3-4 tablespoons of chopped lemongrass, 2 teaspoons of chopped galangal root, 4 cloves of minced garlic, 1 shallot, 1 teaspoon of freshly grated turmeric or 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1 tsp of coriander seeds, and 1/2 a tsp of cumin seeds.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of oil into the blender and blend until it becomes a smooth paste consistency. This should take around 5-7 minutes.
  • Once done, your Panang curry paste is now ready to use.

Cooking the Chicken and Vegetables

Now for the fun part, cooking the curry! Heat up a pan on medium-high heat, add oil and sauté the onions until they are fragrant and translucent. Then, add the diced chicken and stir-fry for around 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to let it overcook or brown.

Next, add in the red bell pepper and roasted peanuts, followed by 10 kaffir lime leaves (which can be substituted with 1 tsp of lime juice or 1 tsp of lime zest). Mix everything together until the ingredients are well combined. If you like your curry with other vegetables, you may add them at this point of the recipe.

Adding and Mixing the Curry Paste

Once the chicken and vegetables are cooked, lower your heat and add the Panang curry paste, stirring the ingredients together so that the paste coats everything evenly. At this point, you should be able to smell the aroma of the spices emanating from the curry.

Then, add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt, mixing everything together until evenly combined. Cook for around 2-3 minutes until the curry paste has completely cooked and all the flavors have combined together. Don’t forget to stir occasionally because we don't want anything to stick to the bottom.

Adding Coconut Milk and Finishing Touches

Almost there! After letting cook for 2-3 minutes, add 1 can of coconut milk and 1/2 cup of chicken broth, stirring everything together until combined. Let everything simmer for another 10 minutes on low heat to allow the flavors to fully develop.

As we know, the Tamarind paste is crucial for any curry recipe. You may add 1 tablespoon of Tamarind paste once you've got the aroma you like. Tamarind paste brings a new layer of sour and sweet into the mix giving it an out of the world flavor. This ingredient shouldn’t be missed out.

Once you notice the broth starts bubbling, lower the heat and let it simmer for around 10-15 minutes. Then, turn off the heat, garnish with some fresh kaffir lime leaves, and it's ready to serve!

Serving and Garnishing Tips

Panang Curry is best served with freshly steamed Jasmine rice and chopped cilantro on the top. Some like to add more roasted peanuts or a squeeze of lime. The options are endless!

Alternative Options and Substitutions

If for some reason you cannot get access to all the ingredients, you could substitute some. For example, if Panang Curry paste is not available, you can use red or green curry paste as a substitute. Though, this would change the flavor profile of the dish.

If you are vegetarian, you could use tofu or simply adding more vegetables, for extra healthy goodness. You can get creative with the vegetables you want to add into this curry recipe.

In conclusion

Panang Curry is an extremely rich and flavorful dish that's easy to make and perfect for both new cooks and seasoned experts. As long as you stick to the recipe, you are guaranteed to impress yourself and your guests. Don't be afraid to experiment with the recipe and add your twist to it. Panang Curry is versatile and will allow you to explore the limits of your imagination.

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