Thai jungle curry is less creamy than other Thai curries and the spices are fiercer because there's no coconut cream. It originates from a northern part of Thailand where there weren't any coconut trees. Often very spicy - apparently it's traditionally made with 60 chillis - you can add as many chillis as you like. I've gone for a conservative two, because I enjoy tasting other flavours and retaining the use of my tongue. We are not doing a Man Vs Food challenge. We are simply having our tea.
Still not convinced by tofu? Then if you're a meat-eater, replace it with pork, chicken or even wild boar, which were used in the original recipe.
Thai Jungle Curry (serves 2)
You will need:
For the paste:
- 2 birds eye chillis, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3 shallots (or half an onion), chopped
- 5cm piece of ginger, grated
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Block of firm tofu, sliced into thin strips
- 1 red pepper, sliced into strips
- 2 handfuls of vegetables (mushrooms, carrots, green beans, bamboo shoots - anything that cooks quickly)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, crushed
- 3-4 lime leaves (don't worry if you can't find any, but they'll make it taste amazing)
- Small handful of coriander leaves, chopped
- Start by making the curry paste, by either blitzing or bashing together the ingredients. If you really can't be bothered then just finely chop them and mix them up, but it's more fun to work out your frustration by bashing them in a pestle and mortar.
- Heat some oil in a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat, and gently fry the tofu for a few minutes until crispy. Remove and set aside.
- Lower the heat and fry the curry paste for 2-3 minutes until you can smell the aroma. Add a little water to loosen it, then throw in the pepper, vegetables, soy sauce, lemongrass and lime leaves.
- Add more water to reach the consistency you want, then simmer until the ingredients are nearly cooked. Add the tofu for the last few minutes.
- Serve on a bed of rice, scattering the coriander leaves over the top.