Gangs of Curry: Gang Garee (Thai Chicken Curry)

Music Pairing: Koji Nakano, Spring Breathes

Story

Our kitchen may be dubbed a curry lab of sorts.  Honestly, we have experimented with wildly different types of Indian and Thai curries for many years.  We love trying the tangier flavors, with a healthy dose of spice, at times introducing sweeter hints, and so on.  Our love of Gang Garee originated in Atlanta in year 2001.  Not a traditional trajectory, but on one lovely Thursday evening, our respective palettes entered a state of wonderous bliss. The restaurant called Tamarind served us a Gang Garee and we fell in love with it so much, we kept asking for anything they could tell us about the recipe.  Each subsequent recipe would reluctantly reveal ONE ingredient, if we are lucky.  Couple that with our own persistence in the kitchen, we give you Gang Garee, a la Aaron and Afa. A bit of history: the word “curry” was really coined by the Brits in their moments of colonial wisdom.  While there are many inventions of Anglo-Indian curries, as well as some very different Japanese and Chinese curries, for us, this version serves as a base.  It is also an absolute staple for company of any size.  Friendly for kids of all ages and adults who are kids at heart (or by way of palette).  We typically serve this with jasmine or basmati rice.  It pairs beautifully with dry or semi-dry white wines.  Musically speaking, we felt the dish finds a home with the sounds of Ranat (a Thai xylophone).  Give this selection a try as you try the recipe for your loved ones at home.

Recipe

  • 2 cans of lite coconut milk
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • ½ lime, squeezed
  • 1 cup of roasted and salted cashews
  • 2 medium potatoes, diced very small
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves (if you cannot find them, don’t despair)

For the yellow paste:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4-5 dried or fresh Thai chili peppers
  • 3 T brown (or palm, if you can find it) sugar
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 shallots or 1 small yellow onion
  • 3 grams fresh ginger
  • 1 t cumin
  • 2 t coriander
  • 2 t turmeric
  • 1 t cayenne
  • 1 t fish sauce
  • 1 T olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 T water

Garnish: fresh cilantro, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS (Total Time-4 hours):

  • Get out your slow cooker and put it to high setting! If you don’t have one, this can certainly be done on a stove top, but believe us when we tell you…it will be superior with the former!
  • Add the coconut milk, the chicken, diced potatoes and then all other ingredient. Cover and allow it to start simmering.
  • Get out your food processor and add all of the listed yellow paste ingredients. Gently process them all until you achieve a smooth paste
  • Add the paste to the coconut milk mix and allow it to cook for a good 4 hours
  • Steam or boil some jasmine or basmati rice to serve on the side (we always thoroughly rinse our rice prior to cooking).  This step should take about 30 mins.
  • Serve with a beautiful cilantro garnish

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