Both kids and adults will love the limey-coconut flavor in this dish, which falls somewhere between tangy and sweet. If your family like spicy curry, add thinly sliced serrano chiles. Serve the curry over rice with bowls of lime wedges, bean sprouts and sprigs of fresh cilantro.
1 small yellow onion
2 lemongrass stalks
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 heaping Tbs. grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
1 can (14.5 fl. oz./430 ml.) coconut milk
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) chicken stock
2-3 Tbs. fish sauce
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 lb. (500 g.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g.) firmly packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup (3 o z./90 g.) thinly sliced white mushrooms
2 Tbs. lime juice
Peel and thinly slice the onion. Trim the lemongrass to the white bulb only, then slice in half lengthwise and crush it with the side of your knife. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, lemongrass, ginger and garlic, and saute until the garlic is golden, 1-2 minutes. Add the cumin, sliced chiles (if using) and brown sugar, and cook until the sugar bubbles, about 30 seconds. Add the coconut milk, stock, fish sauce and lime leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes to blend the flavors.
Add the chicken, basil, mushrooms, and lime juice, and simmer until the chicken is opaque, about 10 minutes longer. Remove and discard the lemongrass stalks. Serve the curry over steamed jasmine rice and garnish with cilantro sprigs, lime wedges, and bean sprouts (see note above). Serve right away. Serves 4-6.