Every month we tried again and again. I almost gave up. I am so glad I persevered! I would be missing out on perfection.
Our original recipe started out with all the traditional Thai foods that you buy at the Asian Market. We've since narrowed it down to only a couple items you purchase there, and the rest can be found at the grocery store. If anyone would like a jar of Fish Sauce, there's one in my fridge I will gladly give away. We only made one dish with it. I couldn't stomach the thought of eating liquid fish. Sometimes it's just better not to know what is in your favorite foods!
I have to say, my husband helped out so much. It was a joint effort. Everyone knows I hate cooking dinner, but maybe what you don't know is that I love to cook with my husband. Once a week, sometimes twice, we will make dinner together. It's like a date for us. One of us will man the stove, while the other cuts and prepares. Every Friday we make homemade pizza together, and often Saturdays we will cook together too! It's so much fun!
Before I give you the recipe we came up with for the curry, I will first share the peanut sauce recipe we found. You use this in the curry later. I make it at a separate time. We have found it will refrigerate for months. This is a double recipe because I wanted to use the entire jar of unsweetened peanut butter I bought!
2 13.5 oz. can coconut milk
4 oz. panang curry paste
1 1/2 cups unsweetened natural peanut butter (Do not use regular peanut butter.)
1 tbs. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
We first fry the curry paste in oil. Then we add the coconut milk. After it comes to a boil, add the rest of the ingredients. Stir constantly. Once it thickens, remove from heat.
The first time we made the peanut sauce, there was a misunderstanding between my husband and I and we ended up making and eating it as a meal. It was extremely strong for me and the children, but my husband loved it! It works perfectly as an ingredient in our panang curry, but it's too much by itself in my opinion. If you can just imagine eating an entire jar of peanut butter for dinner!
Okay... now for the real recipe we're after.
2 oz. panang curry paste (Half of the 4 oz. can it comes in)
1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk
1 cup milk
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup peanut sauce
6-7 kaffir lime leaves
1-2 chicken breasts, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Fry the panang curry paste in 1-2 tbs. oil until aromatic. You don't want to burn the paste. The oil keeps it from burning.
Once the curry paste is fried, you can add your coconut milk and the 1 cup of milk. We originally tried using two cans of coconut milk, but every time the meal tasted so heavy, and I couldn't finish the plate of food. You want to bring the milk to a boil.
I had difficulty finding the lime leaves. Our local Asian market does not have them. I ended up ordering mine online from a Thai grocery store in California. You get between 25-35 dried leaves for $4.25. With shipping, I spent around $8. We should be able to make the curry 6 or 7 times.
You cannot make this curry without the leaves! It wasn't until we added these that I finally felt the curry had reached perfection. These leaves make the meal so delicious!
It makes a wonderful dish. This is a meal the whole family loves. My kids are always begging for seconds!