This Jungle Curry dish comes from Thailand. It tasted nothing like when a good friend cooked it many, many years ago for me and my sisters. We’ve lost contact so I couldn’t get the recipe. I made this from 2 different recipes on the net (see links bottom of page)! Still delicious though!!
I used ‘Khmer village chicken’ (organic chicken in Europe) for this recipe opposed to the ‘farm’ (the normal chicken in europe) chicken you can get here which has a lot more meat but the chickens are raised within what is it- 6 weeks or so?? They’ve been bred for only this reason, look extremely unhappy and can hardly move because their body weight soon overtakes their ability to walk around with it. They are usually in one large free standing cage and are fed special food antibiotics to stay alive. It’s not individual cages like in Europe or the US. “Bodenhaltung” chickens in German. Supposed to be one step better than individual cages. I’m not sure how though. I do use farm chickens for some recipes as it’s the chicken I grew up eating in London at my mum’s. For recipes where I need a short cooking time and want more meat. I wont go too much into the morals of this as I’m not here to dictate anything to anyone. The fact is these chickens are there and have had a miserable life-so at least love them whilst you eat them! I will expand on this sometime in the future with a story from my past.
The village chickens are a tougher and far more tastier meat-but very bony and have a longer cooking time. When you see them running around everywhere in Asia (even in the cities) happily pecking away at any food they can find (insects in the fields or from the garbage (in cities) you realize what ‘free range’ really means. These chickens run around free, hens with their chicks usually watched over by the cock that made the chicks. Oh and there’s usually one dominant cockerel in every household that gets to impregnate all the hens. These are the happy chickens. 🙂 !
ꉻ ꉻ ꉻ
1 organic chicken approx 1 ½ kilos cut into small pieces
1 large carrot cut into ¼ inch thick half moons
3 small taro peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces (optional-just use another potato)
1 large potato peeled and cut into 1 inch thick pieces
1 bulb of garlic-cloves peeled
1 inch piece of ginger shredded
3 lemongrass stalks chopped into inch long pieces, crushed
1 large onion or 5-6 shallots diced
1 inch piece of galangal peeled and cut into discs
12 lime leaves
12 Thai red chillies whole
2 teaspoons shrimp paste roasted in aluminum foil on open flame (if electric cooker then simply fry in oil)
1 teaspoon whole black pepper
6 whole cloves
6 whole cardamoms
1 inch piece of indian cinnamon broken into 3-4 pieces by hand (if thin piece then use 2)
1 teaspoon whole cumin
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1 sprig of Thai sweet basil leaves leaves plucked (stem not used)
1-2 sprigs of fresh coriander chopped small
1-2 heaped teaspoons palm sugar
fish sauce 2-3 table spoons
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Heat the oil in a pot on high heat and fry the garlic, galangal. lemongrass and ginger for 2-3 minutes then add the onions and a heaped teaspoon of salt and stir.
2. After 3-4 minutes turn down the heat to medium whilst stirring. Add all of the whole spices and shrimp paste and stir for another 4-5 minutes.
3. Once the onions start to caramelize after approx. 3-4 minutes add the chicken pieces, chillies, and palm sugar
4. Stir the contents of the pot and turn the heat up to high. Fluid from the chicken will come out and the palm sugar will melt. After 3-4 minutes add the fish sauce.
5. After 2-3 minutes add the carrots and then turn the heat down to as low as possible. The flame should be gas mark 1 with a small flame. If flame is too high then contents of the pot will burn. Get white plastic bag and cover the top of the pot before you put the lid on to create a vacuum so that the chicken can slow cook with all the spices absorbing all the delicious multitude of flavors from all the spices. I added half a cup of water so as not to burn.
6. Let slow cook for about an 30 minutes. Check periodically to make sure it’s not burning, stir and if there’s no more liquid in the pot just add another half cup of water. Now add the taro and potatoes.
7. Cover up with lid again and cook for another 30-40 minutes until the potatoes and taro are done. There should be very little fluid, just a delicious thick curry sauce. Add the coriander and Thai basil and stir all the contents of the pot so the herbs get evenly distributed.
8. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and die with pleasure from the taste bud explosions that follow 😉
1. I forgot to buy prawn paste so I didn’t use.
2. There are loads of jungle curry recipes on the net. I don’t know how authentic mine is – I mixed the contents from 2 recipes and used my own method from a jungle curry I had years ago from a good friend. Unfortunately I don’t have contact with him so I couldn’t get the recipe.
3. Some use coconut milk but I didn’t.
4. I will at some point in the near future get an original jungle curry recipe from Thailand (I’m going there again in the next few months) and will then publish it!
Here are the 2 sources from which I conjured this dish:
Thank you very much to the above websites 🙂