Panang Curry looks and tastes very similar to red curry except that it's a little sweeter, milder and not as liquid-ie. I have seen restaurants in New York made this curry with peanuts. But from what I remember eating in Thailand, there's no peanuts in it.
The main spice (at least the visible one) in Panang Curry is kaffir lime leaves. The leaves give this sharp lime-y, refreshing scent to the curry. I bought bags of these leaves whenever I saw them in Chinatown. They freeze well.
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup panang curry paste
4 cloves garlic
2 inches fresh ginger
2 inches galangal
1 stalk lemongrass
2 pounds chicken breast - cubed
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
20 kaffir lime leaves - thinly sliced width-wise
Chop garlic, shallots, ginger, galangal, and lemongrass really finely. (I use my food processor fitted with a mini cup and mini blade to chop everything up. This step used to be the longest and hardest process to make curry for me. Now it takes 10 seconds!)
In a large saucepan, fry curry paste in oil over medium heat. Add the chopped spice. Stir vigorously. Be careful not to burn. Add half the can of coconut milk. Let cook until fragrant and coconut milk is bubbly.
Add chicken and the rest of coconut milk. Stir frequently until the chicken is cooked. Add water if the curry becomes too dry (but not too much water.)
Season with sugar and fish sauce. The curry should be mild, and just a tiny bit sweet.
Simmer until the chopped spices become tender (about an hour) or until ready to serve.
Right before serving, sprinkle chopped kaffir lime leaves over the curry.
Serve over steamed rice. I served mine over blanched asparagus and collard green.