Terrific Thai curries

Thai curries, which differ greatly from the curries of India, are generally made with a paste of fresh and dried herbs and spices mixed with coconut milk and/or water.

Those done with water -- such as the vegetable-based jungle curries -- are usually way spicier than curries mellowed out by coconut milk. Popular in this part of the world, these include red, green, yellow and Penang and Massaman curries.

Here are three Long Island restaurants that do them particularly well:

LAWAN, Patchogue

At this downtown nexus for Thai food, the lovely red curry with chicken is made with eggplant and Thai basil.

THAI STATION, Merrick

This unpretentious spot near the Merrick LIRR station turns out a savory, subtle chicken Massaman curry with coconut milk, potatoes, onions and peanuts.

THAI HOUSE, Smithtown

Complexity and nuance define this Penang curry with chicken, string beans, lime leaves and coconut milk.

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