Jungle Curry Paste (Kaeng Bha)

Jungle Curry Paste (Kaeng Bha)
Jungle Curry is one of my favourite Thai dishes. It is a flavourful soup curry that does not contain coconut milk, but is rich with the flavours and fragrance of spices and herbs. This flavourful curry can be used with frog, chicken, pork, or fresh water fish. This is the recipe for the curry paste.

I especially enjoy Jungle Curry with Pork and Thai Eggplant (Gaeng Pah Muu), however, Frog Jungle Curry is my absolute favourite, but Jungle Curry Tiger Prawns with Lobster is a close second. If you have an Asian market that sells fresh fish they may well also sell frog, otherwise the frozen frog legs will do.

Another tasty versian is Jungle Curry with Quail which are readily available at Hispanic and Asian markets. In Thailand they use various small birds for this curry, as well as grubs and insects, but I'll stick with duck or quail I think.

Jungle Curry Paste (Kaeng Bha)

1 1/2 Tabs small fresh green Thai Bird chiles, chopped (Phrik kee Nue)
4 shallots, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk lemongrass, finely sliced, outer hard leaves removed
1 Tabs kapi (shrimp paste), roasted, toasted in toaster oven on tin foil until frgrant
1 tsp salt
1 Tabs galangal, peeled and finely sliced (kha)
2 small cilantro roots, sliced (coriander)
1/2 Tabs kaffir lime zest (lime zest can be used)
3 krachai roots, peeled and sliced
10 white peppercorns, ground

Place chiles, shallots, and lemongrass in mortor pound with pestle to a fine paste. Add the kapi, salt, and galangal, cilantro roots, kaffir lime zest, krachai, and peppercorns continue pounding after adding each ingredients until all are incorporated into a fine paste. Set aside.

This curry paste can be used for a chicken, pork, fresh fish curry. Fish and breadfruit is excellent.

Garnish with a handful of Thai Holy Basil (Bai Krapoa).

If you prefer you can buy a small tin of Jungle Curry paste by MaeSri-Jungle Curry Paste for a quick Jungle Curry (soup) but the flavour is so outstanding if you make your own paste!

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