Indonesian Chicken & Eggplant Curry with Lime

The whole of South East Asia is brimming over with delicious spicy curries and soups. This Indonesian soupy curry is pure perfection. It’s a spicy, quick cooking curry that won’t have you waiting around. If you’re organised enough, then make the paste in advance and freeze it. That way you’ll have a quick mid-week meal in a matter of 20 minutes. So much better than the stuff you find in a jar. The taste of the sauce is absolutely lovely – spicy, tangy and sour. Somewhere between a the flavours of Thailand and China – much like Indonesia itself. One of my top ten curries ever!

For the paste:
3 small hot red chillies (seeded & chopped)
25g fresh ginger (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
4 shallots (chopped)
4 macadamia nuts
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

For the curry:
3 tablespoons peanut oil
800g chicken breast (cut into strips)
500ml coconut milk
5 whole Thai eggplants(halved) (or 200g cubed regular eggplant)
4 lime leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 lime (juice of)

For the paste:
In a pestle & mortar grind the macadamia nuts into a pulp. Add the shallots, garlic, chillies and ginger and grind together for about 15 minutes until you have a smooth paste. Stir in the turmeric, coriander and cumin and set aside. (you can freeze this and it’ll keep for months).

Heat the oil in a wok over a moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add the spice paste and gently fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and add the sugar, salt and lime leaves. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the eggplant and simmer for a further 4-5 minutes until soft. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice and more salt to taste just before serving.

Serve alongside plenty of jasmine rice to soak up all the fabulous soupy sauce.

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