Cookery corner with Nigella Mansell

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Nigella Mansell, yesterday
One of Britain’s leading cooks shares with us her recipe for a Thai green curry

Ingredients: 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 2 tbsp Thai green curry paste, 1 tbsp soft dark brown sugar, 2 thick stalks lemongrass, 2 chicken breasts cut into chunks, grated zest of 1 lime, 400ml coconut milk, a lug of Thai fish sauce, small handful of roughly coriander, juice of 1 lime.

Method: Obviously you need to start by heating the oil in a wok, and you know, the guys at the stove have done a great job of providing the heat but I have to say, it’s not easy out there and obviously you’ve got to do the best job you can in the circumstances and, really, it’s tough to heat up oil when you’re the guy with the wok in your hands, but obviously the oil does become hot and obviously I’m very pleased with that, given all the problems I had to overcome, but obviously then you’ve got a whole set of ingredients ahead of you, so really this is just the start and you know, obviously, I don’t want to point the finger but I will just say that green curry paste has to be the first thing to be added to the wok, and I don’t know why that’s the case, obviously it’s not for me to say, but obviously the sugar must be held jointly responsible for being there at the start and in the wok at the same time, and obviously I can’t comment on that at this moment in time but what I will say is that obviously the lemongrass is involved in this situation and should be stirred in to the mixture, although obviously that isn’t easy and I don’t want to make a big deal out of this but you know, in my experience, that’s a pretty dangerous situation out there and you know, obviously you learn to deal with it without making a fuss, and obviously that’s what I did and obviously it takes someone with experience, and you know, I’m talking about guys like myself here, someone with that experience to know when to reduce the heat slightly and then add the chicken pieces and the lime zest and obviously that isn’t easy and you’ve got guys out there and maybe they don’t know about adding the coconut and fish sauce and you know, obviously I can’t pretend it’s easy to bring everything to a simmer but you know, that’s what I do and I don’t want to say too much about it at this time but obviously that’s something I take very seriously and I hope people will look back at this and say I did a good job there, and obviously I don’t want to take all the credit here because there’s a lot of other guys involved here, like coriander and lime juice, but obviously it was me that stirred them in at this point and you know, obviously I was out there in the kitchen for another 25 to 30 minutes occasionally stirring the mixture with just one hand as the sauce thickened slightly and obviously I was very much aware of the need to cook some jasmine rice alongside that and I think I did a good job in the circumstances and I don’t want to accuse anyone of anything but I will say that some people who shall remain nameless might prefer a simple plain rice and that’s their decision and obviously I don’t want to comment on that but what I will say is that your curry is now ready to serve.