[Photograph: Erin Kunkel]

Scratch-made chicken curry is a thing of beauty, with far greater complexity than anything that comes out of a jar. Add supple rice noodles and an array of toppings, and consider me satisfied for the next week. Leela Punyaratabandhu's curry noodles with chicken from her new cookbook, Simple Thai Food, are especially good. She provides options for making the dish using store-bought curry paste and for making everything from scratch. If you've got the time, I'd definitely recommend going for the fully homemade version; her curry pastes pair especially well with the array of toppings for the dish.

Why I picked this recipe: Give me a bowl of curry and noodles, and I'm happy.

What worked: The finished curry is quite complex when made from scratch, and it clings to the rice noodles with comforting ease.

What didn't: No problems here.

Suggested tweaks: Making the curry pastes from scratch is definitely a chore, but the fresh stuff really can't be beat. Consider making at least one of the two—you can freeze the leftovers for your next curry night. I made a second batch of the curry sans chicken and fish sauce (and using vegetable broth) for a vegan friend, and it was quite good. I'd suggest adding extra salt and lime juice, in addition to upping the tofu, if you choose to go that route.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Simple Thai Food to give away this week.


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