A vegan Thai curry recipe made using the methods and techniques from the origin of this dish, the jungle. Using no oil in this recipe and only basic tools really takes you back to how food was prepared all those years ago, giving you a solid foundation of skills to allow you to create some of the best Thai curries out there. For those unfamiliar with the Jungle curry what makes it special is that it doesn’t use coconut milk in the gravy, as they only had access to fresh water they used that instead, making a firey clean dish that not only stands as a great meal but an amazing health tonic too.

Preparation time: 30 Minutes  Total Cooking  time: 40 minutes Serves: 3 -4
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Ingredients

For the Red Curry Paste

  • 12 Black peppercorns
  • 2 sticks of lemon grass, finely chopped
  • 20 small red chillies, heat of choice (Seeds removed if preferred)
  • 3 Large cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 Shallot, roughly chopped
  • Pinch of course Celtic salt
  • Kaffir lime leaf, roughly chopped

Vegetables and remaining ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks using the Cracking Method (See Tips and Tricks)
  • 150 g Button mushrooms, washed and cut into even sizes
  • 100 g Baby sweetcorn, roughly chopped
  • 1 Green bell pepper, seeds removed and cut into strips
  • 1 Inch rectangle of palm sugar
  • 6 Kaffir lime leaves
  • Approx. 1 Litre boiling water (Enough to barely cover the potatoes)
  • Salt to taste

Tips and Tricks:  If you are not that fond of chilli heat, then substitute the small red chillies with larger milder ones of less quantity. Getting the best quality chillies possible is paramount for this dish as they are the heart of your curry, you can never go wrong with the good old birds eye. :). Put whatever vegetables you like into this curry, it really doesn’t matter, advising on including something containing a lot of starch however as it gives the gravy a nice thickness.

Cracking method: This is done by cutting your piece half way through, then angling your knife to crack the remainder off.

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Method
  1. In a pestle and mortar pound the ingredients for the curry paste in the order stated to a fine consistency.
  2. In a large heavy bottomed pan add 4 Tbsp. Water and bring to a boil, add the curry paste and sauté for 3 -4 minutes (Adding more water if it gets to dry).
  3. Add half of the boiling water to the pan, bring the gravy to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes to the gravy, add enough water  for them to be barely covered and boil on a high heat with the lid on until 3/4 cooked. (Approx 10. minutes).
  5. Remove the lid, add the sweet corn and the mushrooms and then simmer until sweetcorn is cooked (Still a bit crunchy).
  6.  Add the palm sugar, peppers and kaffir lime leaves. Stir until the palm sugar has dissolved, taste and add more salt or palm sugar as necessary.
  7. Leave to cool to a serving temperature, eat with Jasmine rice and a side of Thai basil.

Tips and Tricks: The reason that you cut the potatoes using the Cracking method Is that the sharp edges of the potato dissolve into the gravy giving it a nice thickness. Keeping an eye on your sweet potato when boiling as it cooks a lot quicker than regular potato, you want them to be soft to allow absorption of the gravy, but not mushy.

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