This is actually quite quick to make – using a processor will speed things up even more. The real effort is in buying ingredients.
800g king prawns with their shells
20 dried red Thai chillies – the type that look like a pointed finger – about 6cm long
3 large shallots – about 185g
2 thumb-size pieces of ginger or galangal – about 75g
25g fresh turmeric – or 1 tsp dried turmeric
4 stalks lemon grass
6 cloves of garlic
1 tbs shrimp paste
25g palm sugar
250ml chicken stock
100g tamarind pulp with seeds
A good pinch of salt
400ml good quality coconut milk
200g long green bean
200g bamboo shoot – ideally from oriental store
Nam pla – fish sauce to taste
Turmeric makes this curry yellow. It is not fiercely hot, and very flavourful and makes a good change from green and red curries. Prawns help give the dish a touch of the tropics, but you can use chunky/firm fish such as cod, tilapia, monk fish or even as one of my cookbooks has it, mackerel steaks. And of course you could use chicken instead of fish. Whole raw prawns in their shells have the advantage of the heads and shells contributing to a quick stock. It’s best to go to an Oriental grocer for these ingredients – it cheaper too.
A suitable processor can be used instead of the pestle and mortar.