Jungle curry, a recipe from the hills of northern Thailand

Vegan jungle curry with vegetables, holy basil and fresh green peppercorns

The jungle curry, native to northern Thailand, is unlike any other. The combination of spices and herbs that make it up is unique.

Serves 2.

Curry paste:

3 dried cayenne peppers, stems and seeds removed

½ teaspoon coriander seeds

½ teaspoon white peppercorn

10 g lemongrass, chopped

5 g galangal, chopped

5 g garlic

5 g shallot

1 coriander root

10 g finger root (pictured below)

1 teaspoon salted soybeans

Rehydrate the peppers in hot water for about 5 minutes. Then drain and pound with the coriander seeds and peppercorns. Add the rest of the ingredients little by little until you obtain a smooth paste. You should no longer be able to distinguish the ingredients from each other.

Curry sauce:

500 ml vegetable stock

250 to 300 grams of vegetables such as: Thai eggplant (quartered), pea eggplants, snake beans (cut into 3 cm lengths), baby corn (cut in half lengthwise), wax gourd (cut into bite size pieces), carrot (cut into thin slices).

2 stems of fresh green peppercorn

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 pinch salt

1 teaspoon coconut sugar

1 handful holy basil leaves

To garnish:

1 length finger root, thinly sliced

½ fresh red cayenne pepper, thinly sliced

Bring a ladle of stock to a boil and dissolve the curry paste in it. Then add the rest of the stock and bring to a boil.

Add the "hard" vegetables such as carrot and wax gourd, green peppercorns and seasoning (soy sauce, salt, sugar). Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.

Then add the "soft" vegetables such as eggplant, beans and corn. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Taste to adjust seasoning. Stir in the holy basil and cook an additional minute. Transfer to serving bowls and garnish with finger root and fresh cayenne pepper.

Note that in Thailand, vegetables such as carrots, beans and eggplant are usually served crunchy and not well cooked. In this recipe, only the wax gourd needs to be cooked through.

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