- 1/2 cup dried red chile peppers, stems and seeds removed
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 2 cups grated fresh coconut
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 1/4 cup peanut oil, divided
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 5 stalks lemon grass, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 whole head garlic, cloves peeled and crushed
- 5 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup peeled and chopped fresh ginger root
- 3 (1 1/2 inch) pieces fresh turmeric root, peeled and roughly chopped
- water, or as needed
- 3 tablespoons whole star anise pods
- 2 (2 inch) sticks cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons whole cloves
- 2 tablespoons whole cardamom pods
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint, stems reserved
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cubed
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 pinch kosher salt to taste
- Soak dried chilies in a bowl with 1/2 cup boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
- Toast coconut in a heavy pan on low heat until dark golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Toast coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in the pan until aromatic, about 1 minute. Set aside.
- Puree 2 tablespoons peanut oil, toasted coconut, coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds in a blender or food processor. Mix in chilies, almonds, lemon grass, garlic, shallots, ginger, and turmeric; blend to form a smooth curry paste. Add 2 tablespoons water if needed to create a smoother paste.
- Heat remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil in the skillet and stir in star anise, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom pods, and mint stems; stir and toast on medium-low heat until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Discard spices and retain oil in the pan.
- Heat curry paste in the same skillet with the flavored oil over medium heat until hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup water, chicken, and 2 teaspoons kosher salt; cook and stir until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in coconut milk. Bring mixture to a boil, turn heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender and the sauce is thick, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Stir in reserved chopped mint leaves and lime juice. Season with kosher salt to taste. Cook until the mint begins to wilt, 1 to 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and let the curry rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Azalina's Mint Chicken Curry, recipe