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!

INGREDIENTS:
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)

DIRECTIONS:
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.

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

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