Thai Panaeng Curries will often feature prawns or beef, as well as other flavors such as pork or seafood. All panaeng curries will use a "nam phrik panaeng" or Panaeng Curry Paste. Below you will find a recipe to make your own curry paste for use in these dishes, but as an alternative you could use a good store-bought jar of panaeng curry paste, thus simplifying the dish and making it a Thai curry that can be cooked up in no time.
Panaeng curry with prawns is a delightful, rich and creamy dish, without the searing heat often considered to be an essential part of Thai cuisine. Chili lovers can though easily zing up the dish with the addition of dried chili flakes or even freshly sliced green bird-eye chilies.
The aromatic sauce should be quite thick rather than
liquid, clinging to and generously coating each prawn.
While this Thai prawn curry can be made with smaller
shrimp, you can elevate the dish in both taste and
presentation by using large tiger prawns or even
small lobsters. For a final flourish, serve in an
emptied fresh coconut shell, topping off the dish with
finely julienned slices of fresh, deseeded red chili,
thin kaffir lime leaf shreds and some swirls
of fresh coconut milk. This curry paste involves the dry roasting of
spices in a dry frying pan, after which these spices
are ground to a powder. Next, the rehydrated,
chopped chilies are added together with the fresh
ingredients, and the entire mixture is pounded with
a pestle and mortar to a smooth paste.
Panaeng Curry Paste Recipe
2 tsps coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 3 pieces of mace, 3 long mild green chili peppers, 2 cardamom seeds - all of these dry roasted until golden.
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
1/2 tsp. sea salt
12 big, red, dried chilies -seeds removed and soaked in hot water for at least 10 minutes and then, having discarded the water, very finely chopped
The fresh ingredients
2 tsps. galangal root -peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp. lemongrass - white part only, finely chopped
1 tsp. kaffir lime peel - chopped
1 tbsp. coriander root - chopped (Note: this is the white roots, not the green stalks.)
3 tbsp. shallots - chopped
2 tbsp. garlic - crushed
1 tsp. shrimp paste
In a mortar, grind the coriander and cumin seeds, mace, long green peppers, cardamom pods and black peppercorns.
Now add all the other ingredients and pound further until the paste is smooth.
Don't have a pestle and mortar?
If you do not own a large pestle and mortar, the paste can be made using a small liquidizer. As the quantity is small, you may have to scrape down the ingredients repeatedly to obtain a smooth paste. To make the task easier, you can add a little water to help incorporate the ingredients and make a smoother paste, but only add the minimum amount required to achieve this.
See More Thai Recipes
This curry paste involves the dry roasting of spices in a dry frying pan, after which these spices are ground to a powder. Next, the rehydrated, chopped chilies are added together with the fresh ingredients, and the entire mixture is pounded with a pestle and mortar to a smooth paste.Part one - the dry ingredients