You can make double or triple quantities of the curry paste and refrigerate it for future use. It will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. It can also be frozen in ice-cube trays for up to 3 months and added straight to the pan from the freezer.
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
3 fresh long green chillies, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
¼ cup firmly packed chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves, roots and stems
2 large garlic cloves
5 spring onions (scallions), white and firm green parts, chopped
3 cm (1¼ inch) piece lemongrass stem, white part only, roughly chopped (pic 1)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 kaffir lime leaves
400 ml (14 fl oz) tin coconut cream
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) skinless chicken thigh fillets, trimmed, cut into 2 cm (¾ inch) pieces
1 small bunch basil, leaves picked
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Steamed rice and lime wedges, to serve
1. Grind the coriander seeds and peppercorns in a food processor, spice grinder or using a mortar and pestle until finely ground. Add the chillies, ginger, coriander, garlic, spring onions and lemongrass and continue to grind to form a paste.
2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, add the curry paste and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until aromatic. Add the kaffir lime leaves and coconut cream and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add the chicken and 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) water to the sauce and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
4. Add the basil leaves and fish sauce to the curry and stir through. Serve with the steamed rice and lime wedges.