Kaeng Pa Kai (Jungle Curry With Chicken)


¼ kachai (galangal), peeled and chopped
8 prik chee fa daegn haeng (dried red chillies), crushed
2 tablespoon takrai (lemon grass), bruised, thinly sliced
3 tablespoon shallots, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoon kratiem (garlic), chopped
1 teaspoon green peppercorns
1 teaspoon kapi (fermented shrimp paste)
a dash of fish sauce
For the curry:
10 bai makrut (kaffir lime leaves), shredded
4 coconuts
4 cups chicken, cut into bite sized pieces.
¼ cup nam pla (fish sauce)
3 cups chicken stock, or water
½ cup makhua pro (thai eggplant), quartered
½ cup prik che fa (green Thai jalapeños), julienned
½ cup bai maenglak (lemon basil)


Prepare the curry paste by grinding everything to a paste. 
Pierce the coconuts and reserve the juice. Using a machete chop off the top of each, just above the mid-point. Scoop out the coconut 'meat' with a spoon (or a melon baller). Mix about ½ cup coconut for every 2 cups of juice and refrigerate. Reserve ½ cup of coconut meat. 
Heat a wok over medium high heat, and then add a little oil and stir fry the curry paste until aromatic. 
Add the chicken, fry briefly and add the remaining ingredients, except the lime leaves and the chicken stock. 
Stir fry until the chicken begins to change colour. 
Add the stock, cover, and simmer until the chicken and the eggplant are cooked.