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Thai Chicken and Winter Melon Curry, 'Kaeng Kua Phak Gai'

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Ingredients

9 tablespoons coconut cream powder
1 can kaeng kua curry paste (4 oz)
3/4 lb chicken
1 teaspoon salt
1 lb winter melon (see below *)
2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate
3 tablespoons palm sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce

Method

Clean chicken, cut into 1 inch pieces, mix with 1 tsp salt and fry until dry. Peel melon, remove seeds and cut into 1 inch chunks. Mix coconut cream powder with 3 cups warm water, stir well. Put 1 cup coconut cream in frying pan and heat. When oil begins to appear on the surface, add the kaeng kua curry paste, then add the chicken and cook. Spoon into a pot, add the remaining coconut milk and the melon and heat. Separately combine tamarind concentrate with 2 tablespoons warm water, mix well. When the melon is done, taste and season with tamarind juice, palm sugar, and fish sauce. Stir and serve with jasmine rice.

*Winter melon is also known as Christmas melon, wax gourd, or ash gourd. The pumpkin-like vine has thick, furrowed stems. The fruits range from oblong to cylindrical and reach 16 inches in length. The mature fruit has a thick layer of white wax (ton kwa). Other names: Tougan (Japanese); doongua, cham kwa, tung gwa, mo kwa, fa kwa (Chinese); tankoy, kundol (Filipino); petha, kaddu (Indian). You can see photos and order seeds to grow your own winter melon at this link. You may substitute your favorite local gourd for this dish.

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