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THIS dish (in which, to satisfy worriers out there, it's the curry that's green, not the chicken) is a speciality of Thailand and of a pub called The Wrestlers, on Newmarket Road, Cambridge, England. Very many people at Acorn Computers have discovered how good this stuff is - so many, in fact, that an informal rota has sprung up as there are too many curry-fanciers for The Wrestlers to seat all at the same lunchtime.
On leaving Acorn, most Acorn developers felt unable to give up their weekly capsaicin fix, and so, were anyone to go into The Wrestlers and heave a brick, which it is no part of this narrative to suggest might frequently be the case, they would probably hit several aspiring young computer companies. The last time the boss of Iota Software wanted to hire a programmer, he just hung around in The Wrestlers a lot until he found someone. Or at least, that was his excuse.
It's probably fair to say that green chicken curry is a significant motivating factor in the Cambridge computer phenomenon.

Green Chicken Curry

This isn't actually The Wrestlers' own curry recipe, but with care you can get it quite close. This quantity serves two. Some of the authentic Thai ingredients are a bit out of the ordinary, and these are explained below.
My dad's doctor has told him to lay off saturated fats, and coconuts are on the no-no list he was given, so apparently this recipe is very bad for you.
8ozchicken or beef (thinly sliced) or smoked haddock or mixed seafood
14oz/400ml tincoconut milk [1]
walnut-sized lumpgreen curry paste [2]
1 smallaubergine (eggplant), or a leek, or whatever veg, in small chunks [3]
1green pepper (bell pepper, capsicum)
somemushrooms (basically whatever veg you think will work)
walnut-sized lumppalm sugar or jaggery [4]
1 or 2kaffir lime leaves [5]
a fewthai basil leaves [6]
1-4chillies (green "bullet" ones or dried bird-eye ones; if using Scotch Bonnet chillies, do not use more than one!) thinly sliced or (if dried) crumbled
2tbspfish sauce (nam-pla) [7]
handfulchopped fresh coriander (cilantro), or 1tbsp of the sort in toothpaste tubes
6tbspsunflower oil or other mild-flavoured oil
somestock (maybe)
PUT the oil in a non-stick pan, and add the meat, the curry paste, and a tablespoon of the coconut milk. Fry for a few minutes (if using beef or pork) or until just coloured (otherwise), mashing the curry paste into the oil if it's showing no signs of dissolving by itself. (You need plenty of oil to make the sauce thick, it's not just there as a frying medium.)  
Add the rest of the coconut milk, the fish sauce, the palm sugar, and the chillies. Fish sauce is a saturated salt solution, so you're unlikely to need to add extra salt.
Add the lime leaves; these work like bay leaves and don't end up edible, so you should either tear them into largish pieces and take them out at the end, or very finely chop them with scissors like the Wrestlers do.
Add the aubergine or leek at this stage too. Bring back to the boil and simmer for a few minutes. Then add mushrooms or peppers (or other veg that don't take as long to cook), plus the basil leaves. Add stock if it looks like there's not enough liquid in the pan. Simmer five more minutes, until everything seems cooked. Add the coriander right at the end.
It's traditionally served with steamed fragrant rice, but is also nice over a jacket potato, or with half-cooked and drained pasta thrown into it a few minutes before the end (you'll need a big pan and more stock).
You can vary the heat by adjusting the amount of chillies (obviously), and of the curry paste (which itself consists mostly of chillies). If made with four chillies, the above recipe is about as hot as a hottish one from the Wrestlers. If made with a Scotch Bonnet chilli and twice the amount of curry paste, you may need to go and have a lie down afterwards. If cooking for a complete wuss, take the seeds out of the chillies – don't reduce the amount of curry paste as it's the emulsifier for the sauce.

Notes on ingredients:

1. Coconut milk
Most supermarkets nowadays seem to stock tins of coconut milk. If yours doesn't, you could make some using creamed coconut. If your supermarket doesn't have this either, think about getting up a petition. Amoy brand is better than Bart's; it's much thicker, which probably means a greater fat content.
2. Thai green curry paste
A previous version of this page suggested making green curry paste yourself, using lemon-grass powder, galingale, garlic, chillies, and heaven knows what else – but, quite frankly, life's too short. Do bear in mind that some brands of curry paste are hotter than others; you'll need to experiment a bit with your particular brand.
3. Tell me the truth about aubergines
In Thailand this dish would be made with things called pea aubergines, which are related to aubergines but are green and about the size of large peas. I've only rarely seen these for sale in England even in Oriental food shops. One easy option is to use peas! - this will taste wrong (but still very good) and look right. Another easy option is to use a large purple aubergine, which will taste about right but look completely wrong - if you do this, chop it into bite-size chunks or it won't cook enough. A good compromise is to use "baby aubergines" from an Oriental food shop: these are golfball-sized and white (and may explain the otherwise mysterious name "eggplant" given to aubergines in some parts of the world) and need only be octanted before cooking. Stop press: apparently the Spar on Mill Road in Cambridge, just beyond the railway bridge, sometimes sells pea aubergines. And, according to a mate's excellent vegetables book, baby aubergines can be grown in greenhouses in Britain's climate. Another correspondant tells me that pea aubergines are sometimes sold under the name "Turkey berry".
4. Palm sugar
This is available from Oriental food shops (e.g. Cho Mee on Mill Road in Cambridge), or, at five times the price, from some ordinary supermarkets. If you still can't find it, use a pale brown sugar, or try honey.
5. Kaffir lime leaves
Again, these come from Oriental food shops. The Oxford Companion To Food makes a convincing case for calling these makhrut lime leaves instead ("kaffir" means "foreign", but it's used in South Africa as a disparaging word for a black person). However, nobody does.
6. Thai basil leaves
Not the same thing at all as normal French basil, but you could use that in a pinch.
7. Nam-pla
This is a sort of fish sauce which is widely used as a condiment in Thailand. Oriental food shops will stock it. No purist would say it was optional, but actually you can still make a very fine curry without it.
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