Despite the number of ingredients, Very Easy Thai Chicken and Coconut Curry from the Hairy Dieters’ inaugural book is indeed easy to make and quick for a weeknight tea providing you get everything out on your working top before you start.
I’m not a huge fan of rice, but even if you are, I don’t think this recipe necessarily warrants the addition of anything else given that the chicken is bulked out by the peppers and mangetout. If you can resist having rice, the calorie count for this ‘fakeaway’ dish is waistline friendly and perfect if you’re having a ‘5:2’ day and seeking a healthy evening meal for under 300 calories.
My only slight criticism is that even with the addition of the cornflour this curry is a tad watery for my liking so I tend to cook for longer than the suggested timings listed below. Try it yourself, as Neil Buchanan from Art Attack famously said (or perhaps not famously at all).
Recipe: Very Easy Thai Chicken and Coconut Curry
Calories: 286 per portion (without rice)
Book: Hairy Dieters – How to Love Food and Lose Weight
Prep time: Approx 10 mins
Cooking time: Approx 15 mins
Ingredients: 1 tbsp sunflower oil, 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into thin slices), 1 large red pepper (deseeded and cut into thin strips), 1 large yellow pepper (deseeded and cut into thin strips), 400ml can of half-fat coconut milk, 250ml cold water plus 2 tbsp, 2 heaped tbsp Thai green or red curry paste, 6 dried or fresh kaffir lime leaves, 4 tbsp nam pla (Thai fish sauce), 1 tsp caster sugar, 150g mangetout (trimmed), 2 tbsp cornflour, small handful of fresh coriander roughly torn (optional), small handful of fresh basil leaves roughly torn (optional)
Cost per portion: Approx £1.70
Method: Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan, frying plan or wok. Stir-fry the chicken and peppers for 1 minute. Pour over the coconut milk and add the 250ml of water, curry paste, lime leaves, fish sauce and caster sugar. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the mangetout and return to a simmer. Mix the cornflour with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cold water and stir into the pan. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the spiced coconut milk has thickened, stirring frequently.
Serve the curry in deep bowls, scattered with fresh coriander or basil if using. By the way – don’t eat the lime leaves!