You know what, it hasn't been this cold in a while. I feel like Scott of the Antarctic, blasted by icy winds while waiting for the #151. So be it, I suppose. And it could be worse - the coldest inhabited place in the world is Oymyakon in Eastern Russia, which once recorded -71C! Well, enough of the geography lesson and down to brass tacks.

I was in work the other day, subjected to the usual stream of buzzwords ('actioning an item' instead of 'doing something', or 'gaining traction by interacting cohesively' instead of 'working with someone') when I felt the need for a red curry, and a hot one at that. They do say that a hot curry will cause your brain to fire endorphins, or maybe it is just a nice placebo, either way I wanted a fix. The recipe for this wonderful Thai dish is below:

Thai Red Curry


  • Coriander seeds

  • Cinnamon bark

  • Cumin seeds

  • Red chilli peppers

  • Garlic cloves x 2

  • Galangal

  • Coriander Leaf

  • Shrimp Paste (optional)

Or if you're lazy or have no time, paste from a jar, such as Thai gold.


  • Coconut Milk

  • Lemongrass stalk (bashed)

  • Nam Pla (fish sauce)

  • Cane Sugar / Jaggery / Brown Sugar

  • Chicken x 2 breasts (or thigh meat if you wish - cheaper & more flavor)

  • Sweet potato

  • Green beans


Take the 1st 3 ingredients from the paste and heat in a dry saucepan over a medium heat until they are fragrant (you'll know by the smell). Then put these and the rest of the paste ingredients into a mortar and pestle (or a blender) and mash to a paste. Note, with a mortar and pestle, this may take a while but will be worth it.

Once you've got the paste ready, heat some oil in a wok to a low-medium heat and heat the paste. The point is to fry the paste and release the fragrance (but not to burn it!). Do this for a few minutes. Turn up the heat and add a little coconut milk. Stir and fry. Then add the chicken, coat in the paste and brown for a few minutes. Then add the rest of the coconut milk and the vegetables and the lemongrass stalk. Cook on a very very low heat for 10-15 minutes and there you go - it's ready. Serve with steamed rice.