From America's Test Kitchen Season 6: Two Curry Traditions
Like most Thai food, Thai curries embrace a delicate balance of tastes, textures, temperatures, and colors that come together to create a harmonious whole. Unlike Indian curries, Thai curries almost always contain coconut milk. Also, they tilt the spice balance towards fresh aromatics, which are added in the form of a paste. We wanted an authentic Thai red curry and green curry, perfumed with lemon grass, hot chiles, and coconut milk, both of which could be made easily by the home cook.
A food processor made quick work of blending together the curry pastes. For the green curry, we favored Thai green chiles (although serrano or jalapeño chiles make great substitutes), while the red curry was best with small dried red chiles and a fresh red jalapeño. Shallots, lemon grass, cilantro stems, garlic, ginger, coriander, and cumin rounded out the flavors of the pastes. And to approximate the flavor of kaffir lime leaves, we added grated lime zest. To make the curries, we skimmed the coconut cream off the coconut milk and cooked it with the curry paste—this gave our curries silky body and intense, rich flavor. We paired the green curry with chicken, broccoli, mushrooms, and bell pepper, and the red curry with shrimp, pineapple, and peanuts. All that we needed now was rice to soak up the flavorful sauce.
Freeze the chicken for 15 minutes to make it easier to cut.