Jungle curry

Jungle curry

Kaeng pa

By
From
South East Asian Food

This is a present-day version of a traditional wild-food country curry from the north–central region. The chicken and cultivated eggplant are a modern cook’s substitute for wild boar and gathered bamboo shoots. You could, of course, use the original items or substitute domesticated pork and shop-bought bamboo shoots if you wish or even try other game meat.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
10 green or white golf-ball eggplant
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
500g chicken thigh fillets, cut the thai way
2 cups water
1 tablespoon fish sauce

Paste spices

Quantity Ingredient
10-20 small red chillies
10 white peppercorns
1 stalk lemongrass, finely sliced
2 thick slices galangal, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped kaffir lime skin
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
6 medium garlic cloves, sliced
3 whole shallots, sliced

Garnish

Quantity Ingredient
2 clusters fresh green peppercorns, (optional)
2 red chillies, seeded and sliced into strips
a handful holy basil leaves

Method

  1. Trim the eggplant and cut them into 4 wedges. Leave them standing in salt water to prevent their going brown.
  2. To make the spice paste, in a mortar or a food processor attachment pound the chillies to a paste. Add the other paste ingredients one by one in the order in which they are listed, pounding each one into a paste as you go.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or a pan and fry the spice paste until it smells cooked. Add the chicken slices and stir-fry until the chicken changes colour. Add the water and fish sauce to taste and when it boils, drain and add the eggplant. Simmer until it is cooked but not soft. Taste and adjust seasonings. Dish into a serving bowl and garnish with fresh peppercorns, red chilli strips and holy basil. Eat with rice.
Tags:
SBS
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