"With style and simplicity, this curry is such a celebration of everything from the earth. This authentic Thai recipe comes from pioneering chef Amy Chanta (Chat Thai Restaurants). We were lucky enough to film on Amy's Boon Luck Farm in the Byron Bay hinterland where all the ingredients were grown but it’s easy to recreate at home and definitely worth seeking out different types of eggplant. The herbs are used in abundance and make the fresh, clean flavours really sing. Amy’s tip on using the leaves of the chili plant is a good one, as it adds colour rather than extra heat." Maeve O'Meara, Food Safari Earth
An abundance of herbs makes this vegetable green curry really sing.
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp white peppercorns
- 5 g fresh turmeric, finely sliced
- 10 g galangal, finely sliced
- 2 lemongrass stalks, pale parts only, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp finely grated kaffir lime zest
- 75 g garlic, peeled
- 75 g red Asian shallots, peeled and sliced
- 200 g long green chillies, sliced
- 50 g long red chillies, sliced
- 1 small bunch chilli tips or Thai basil leaves
- 1 sheet fermented soy bean disc (tua nao), broken into pieces
- 800 g mixed Thai eggplants (see Note)
- 1.7 litres coconut cream
- 1 tbsp salt
- 70 g palm sugar, grated
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 400 g Thai or Kent pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into fine wedges
- 100 g wild ginger, finely shredded
- handful Thai basil leaves
- 3 long red chillies, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 10 kaffir limes leaves, centre veins removed
- steamed jasmine rice
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Pound the cumin seeds and white peppercorns in a mortar and pestle until finely ground. Add the turmeric, galangal, lemongrass and kaffir lime zest and pound until well combined. Add the garlic, shallots and the green and red chillies and pound to a coarse paste. Add the chilli tips and fermented bean disc pieces and continue to pound until finely ground.
Roughly chop the green eggplant, halve the purple and remove the pea eggplant from the stalk. Place in lightly salted acidulated water while you cook the curry paste.
Place a wok over medium heat. Add 500 ml (2 cups) coconut cream, then add the curry paste and stir well to combine. Cook the paste for 12-15 minutes, stirring regularly until the oil from the coconut comes out and the mixture looks like it has split. Add the remaining coconut cream and 1.5 litres water. Bring to the boil, then add the salt, palm sugar and soy sauce. Check the seasoning – you want a balance of salty and sweet.
Add the eggplant and pumpkin and simmer for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and cooked through. Turn off the heat, then stir in the wild ginger, Thai basil, sliced chillies and kaffir limes leaves. Serve with steamed Jasmine rice.
· Try long silken, cherry, pea, baby purple teardrop, Thai lavender and/or frog egg varieties of eggplant.
Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Emma Warren. Creative concept by Belinda So.