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Thai Jungle Curry

You’ll really taste the heat and fragrance of the herbs and spices in this Thai curry, especially since there’s no coconut milk in sight. Spicy and comforting, it’s definitely one for chilli fans! Feel free to use a food processor to make light work of the paste, especially if you don’t have a mortar and pestle at home.


Thai Jungle Curry

15 minutes
20 minutes

2 tbsp vegetable oil

4 makrut lime leaves

300g (10.5 oz) chicken thigh fillets, thinly sliced

100g (3.5 oz) green beans, cut into batons

100g (3.5 oz) Thai eggplants*

2 tbsp fish sauce

½ tbsp finely shaved palm sugar

½ cup Thai basil leaves

steamed rice, to serve


Jungle curry paste:

10 long dried red chillies

3cm (just over 1”) piece galangal, peeled & finely chopped

1 lemongrass stalk, pale part finely chopped

2 x 4cm (1 ½”) pieces krachai*, roughly chopped

2 Asian shallots, roughly chopped

2 coriander (cilantro) roots, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

4 makrut lime leaves, destemmed, finely chopped

3 tsp shrimp paste

½ tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp sea salt

  • Step 1

    To make the curry paste, soak the dried chillies in 1 cup hot water for 10-15 minutes or until softened. 

  • Step 2

    Remove the chillies from the water (it doesn’t matter if you don’t drain them completely as some water is fine), reserving the soaking water. Roughly chop the chillies and then place them in a mortar. Use a pestle to pound to a rough paste. Now add the galangal and pound again. Continue adding and pounding the lemongrass, krachai, shallots, coriander root and garlic cloves. Pounding after adding each ingredient makes the process easier and faster. You can also do this step in a food processor.

  • Step 3

    Stir through the makrut lime leaves, shrimp paste, cumin, ground coriander and salt.

  • Step 4

    Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry paste and makrut lime leaves. Cook, stirring for about 2 minutes. Then add the chicken and stir-fry until the chicken starts to colour. Stir through the reserved chilli soaking water and an additional 2 cups of water. Simmer for 3 minutes. Then add the green beans and eggplants. Simmer for another 2-3 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables tender. Taste and season with fish sauce and palm sugar.

  • Step 5

    Toss through the basil leaves and serve with steamed rice.

  • Notes

    – Thai eggplant is also known as apple eggplant and is a small, round bitter eggplant – find it in your Asian supermarket. You can also use regular eggplant or other vegetables such as zucchini or carrot.

    – Krachai (also known as fingerroot or lesser galangal) is a fragrant aromatic often used in south-east Asian curry pastes or stir-fries. It’s available fresh in countries such as Thailand and Indonesia but is also available elsewhere pickled in jars. Search it out online or from an Asian grocery store.

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

What our customers say

Rated 5.0 out of 5
5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 3 reviews)
Very good0%
February 8, 2023


Mine was not as red as yours but the taste was awesome. Very lekker!

December 8, 2022


I love jungle curry but after making this I will never buy it again. The right amount of heat and flavours swimming in my mouth. My family loves it. A definite regular for us and great for meal prep to take to work.

August 1, 2022


This was the best jungle curry ever. Taste better than takeout. I found it easy to find all the ingredients and was perfect for the cold winter nights in Canberra. This will be a weekly dish in our house.

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