About this recipe:This flavourful chicken curry has fresh toasted coconut, lemongrass, ginger, star anise, cardamom, turmeric, mint and lots more herbs and spices. The sauce is thickened with coconut milk and spiced with dried chilli peppers.
20g dried red chilli peppers, stems and seeds removed
120ml boiling water
185g grated fresh coconut
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
60ml peanut oil, divided
30g sliced almonds
5 sticks lemongrass, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 whole head garlic, cloves peeled and crushed
5 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
45g peeled and chopped fresh ginger
3 (3cm) pieces fresh turmeric root, peeled and roughly chopped
water, or as needed
3 tablespoons whole star anise pods
2 (5cm) sticks cinnamon
2 tablespoons whole cloves
2 tablespoons whole cardamom pods
15g freshly chopped mint, stems reserved
900g boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cubed
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt, or to taste
1 (400g) tin coconut milk
1 lime, juiced
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Soak dried chillies in a bowl with 120ml boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
Toast coconut in a heavy pan on low heat until dark golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Toast coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in the pan until aromatic, about 1 minute. Set aside.
Puree 2 tablespoons peanut oil, toasted coconut, coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in a blender or food processor. Mix in chillies, almonds, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, ginger and turmeric; blend to form a smooth curry paste. Add 2 tablespoons water if needed to create a smoother paste.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil in the pan and stir in star anise, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom pods and mint stems; stir and toast on medium-low heat until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Discard spices and retain oil in the pan.
Heat curry paste in the same pan with the flavoured oil over medium heat until hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 120ml water, chicken and salt; cook and stir until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Stir in coconut milk. Bring mixture to the boil, turn heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Stir in reserved chopped mint leaves and lime juice. Season with salt to taste. Cook until the mint begins to wilt, 1 to 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and let the curry rest for 15 minutes before serving.