Thai Apple Eggplant, Chicken and Cashew Curry

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Just a quick mid-week post here to share this tasty curry. It’s one of those recipes that is so lovely to make if you’ve got a quiet afternoon to yourself (rare at this time of year), to spend some time hanging out in the kitchen, drinking a nice cold vino and whipping up this  yummy meal. Also, the curry paste recipe makes twice as much as you need so that you can keep the other half for a night when your a bit less relaxed and you can just chuck in whatever you’ve got in the fridge and still end up with a yummy dinner.

I made this with the apple eggplants as they are abundant up in Darwin, but you can use any eggplant that is available in your area or even replace it with another veg such as zucchini or sweet potato, and you could replace the water spinach with regular english or baby spinach. It’s all about what’s available to you and hopefully grown locally!

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Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

Curry Paste
1 tsp peppercorns
2 tbs dried shrimp
1 tsp shrimp paste
4 coriander roots, chopped
3 stems lemongrass, white and light green part, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbs ginger, chopped
1 tbs galangal, chopped
1 tsp fresh turmeric, chopped
2 long green chillies, chopped
2 small red chillies, chopped
4 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
3 tbs fish sauce
2 tbs lime juice
2 tbs coconut vinegar
2 tbs coconut sugar
The rest….
400ml can coconut cream (don’t shake before opening)
1-2 cups chicken stock
500g chicken thigh, cut into 3cm pieces
500g thai apple eggplant, tops cut off, quartered, smaller ones, halved or left whole, the pieces should be around the same size as the chicken
1 large bunch water spinach, leaves picked (reserve the stems for a stir fry or something)
230g tin water chestnuts, drained, sliced
1/2 cup roasted cashews
1/2 cup coriander, chopped
1/2 cup thai basil chopped
Steamed long grain rice, to serve

Method
For the curry paste, in a large frying pan, over medium high heat, fry the peppercorns, dried shrimp, and shrimp paste (wrap paste in a small foil parcel), for about 5 mins or until fragrant. Set aside to cool.
In a mortar and pestle or a small bender, pound or process the peppercorns, shrimp and paste with the remaining curry paste ingredients.
You will only need 1/2 of the paste for the recipe. Keep the other half in the freezer for up to a month.
Over medium high heat, In a large/deep pan, pour the top half of the can of coconut cream and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring, for about 10mins, until the cream splits from the oil. Add the curry paste (remember, only half of what you made), and cook, stirring, for about 5-10 mins or until fragrant.
Add remaining coconut cream, 1 cup of chicken stock, chicken, eggplant and water chestnuts. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20mins or until chicken is cooked and eggplant is tender but not falling apart. Uncover, add the spinach and cashews and cook for another 5mins.
Take off the heat and allow to cool for about 10 mins. Stir through the herbs.
Serve with the rice.
Enjoy!

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