2 stalks lemon grass – tough outer leaves removed, the rest chopped very finely
2 shallots – finely diced
Juice and zest of 1 ½ limes
3 green chillies
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
5 garlic cloves
60g (2oz) or 1 bunch coriander
1 dsp Thai 7 spice (optional)
4cm (2 inch piece) ginger – grated and squeezed, resulting liquid reserved
For the Curry
3 tbsp groundnut oil
250g (9oz) cauliflower – cut into 4 cm (2 inch) florets
250g (9oz) carrots – peeled, cut in half lengthways, then into half-moons on the diagonal, slightly less than 1 cm ( ½ inch) thick
250g (9oz) courgettes – same as carrots
200g (7oz) shiitake mushrooms – thickly sliced
400ml (14 fl oz) unsweetened coconut milk
150 ml (5 fl oz) stock
1 ½ tbsp. tamari
8 Kaffir lime leaves
100g (4oz) fine green beans – topped and tailed
A small handful of coriander
To make the green curry paste, place all the ingredients in a food processor, ideally in the small herb attachment. Otherwise do it by hand, using a very sharp knife.
The quantities will give a little more than you need, but it is easier to process with these amounts.
You will need 5 tablespoons of the mixture, more if you like a hotter version of the curry.
Any leftover can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or even frozen in ice-cube trays if that makes things easier and added into a soup.
Heat the groundnut oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the cauliflower florets. Toss them in the hot oil for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to brown prettily all around and to soften slightly.
Add the carrots and repeat the process, then the courgettes.
Next add the shitake mushrooms and sauté for a minute or so.
Now add the coconut milk and most of the stock as well as 5 tablespoons of the green curry paste, the tamari and Kaffir lime leaves, lightly crushed but not torn to release more of their distinctive aroma.
Finally add the green beans.
Simmer for a couple of minutes over a gentle heat, then add the remaining stock. Stir gently for another couple of minutes to allow the flavours to mingle.
Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with Basmati rice or Thai jasmine rice.