Spicy catfish and tree basil curry


This typical yellow curry from Southern Thailand uses tree basil leaves (ocimum gratissimum). They smell like cloves and are common in fish soups and fish curries. If you can't find them, don't substitute sweet basil, it's better to use spinach leaves and cloves.

Serves 2.

Curry paste:

25 g fresh red chillies (medium spicy for Thai)

or 2 bird-eye fresh red chillies (medium spicy for westerners)

2 lemongrass stalks, chopped

20 g galangal, chopped

4 garlic cloves

4 shallots

1 kaffir lime leaf, finely sliced

kaffir lime zest (half-fruit)

25 g fingerroot, roughly chopped

10 g turmeric

0.5 teaspoon black peppercorn

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon shrimp paste

Curry sauce: 1 cat-fish, sliced 500 ml fish stock 1 tablespoon fish sauce 1 tablespoon light soy sauce 1 teaspoon sugar 10 tree basil leaves, sliced