Phat Phanang Kha Nuea – Thai Jungle Curry with Beef and Eggplant

Jungle curry, made of fresh ingredients and with no coconut milk, is called in Thailand Kaeng Phet or Phat Phanang Kha Nuea – Thai Isan-style jungle curry with beef and eggplant.

Central dish, Serves 4

Ingredients

For the paste:

50 gr kra chai root, crushed and roughly cut

30 gr galangal, diced

6 large red chilies

5 garlic cloves, peeled

12 kaffir lime leaves

2 lemongrass stalks, halved and diagonally cut to 2 cm pieces

4 cilantro roots

For the dish:

½ large eggplant, peeled and diced, or 20 Thai eggplants, halved

400 gr sirloin or ramp steak, thinly cut against the grain

8 stalks of licorice or Thai basil, with leaves

15 black or green peppercorns

6 tbsp fish sauce

2 tsp sugar

½ cup chicken stock

4 tbsp oil

Salt to taste

50 gr kra chai root, crushed and roughly cut

30 gr galangal, diced

6 large red chilies

5 garlic cloves, peeled

12 kaffir lime leaves

2 lemongrass stalks, halved and diagonally cut to 2 cm pieces

4 cilantro roots

For the dish:

½ large eggplant, peeled and diced, or 20 Thai eggplants, halved

400 gr sirloin or ramp steak, thinly cut against the grain

8 stalks of licorice or Thai basil, with leaves

15 black or green peppercorns

6 tbsp fish sauce

2 tsp sugar

½ cup chicken stock

4 tbsp oil

Salt to taste

 

Preparation
  • 1
    Prepare the paste with mortar and pestle. Crush all the paste ingredients for 10 minutes until rough paste forms (leave out the kra chai root).
  • 2
    Heat the oil in a wok and add the paste and the kra chai root. Stir slowly and cook on low heat for 1½ minutes until the scents open up.
  • 3
    Add the beef and a little stock and continue to stir slowly on low heat until the meat is 50% cooked. Add the rest of the stock and increase the heat to a maximum, until meat is fully cooked.
  • 4
    Add eggplants and stir 2 more minutes. Add fish sauce, peppercorns and sugar.
  • 5
    Add basil and stir 15 seconds more.
  • 6
    Turn heat off and serve with steamed jasmine rice.

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