The jungle curry hails from Central-Northern Thailand, where cooks have no access to coconut trees. For this reason, jungle curry doesn’t contain coconut milk and has a watery consistency. The lack of coconut milk means that there is nothing to mellow the spiciness, making this curry not for the faint hearted. It is traditionally prepared with wild boar, but these days is usually made with pork or chicken. This recipe for jungle curry paste comes from the acclaimed Spirit House cooking school and restaurant in Queensland.
¼ tsp white peppercorns
2 large green chillies, deseeded, chopped
6-10 small green chillies, chopped
1 tbsp peeled and chopped galangal
2 stalks lemongrass, bottom half only, outer leaves removed, finely chopped
1 tbsp wild ginger or krachai, chopped
2 golden shallots, peeled, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
Pinch of salt
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.
Grind the peppercorns in a mortar. Add the remaining ingredients and pound until a smooth paste forms.