Dietary guidance: v v
* 2 cups or 1 14-oz. can coconut milk, preferably Mae Ploy brand
* Can of chicken broth or water (optional) to cut the coconut broth if too strong for your tastes
* 2-3 tbs. Mae Ploy brand green curry paste
* 1 lb. pork (or chicken, beef, or skip altogether for vegetarian), cut into bite-size strips
* 1/2 lb. small, round Thai eggplants, cut in halves or quarters, or substitute with 2 long Asian eggplants, cut in bite-size chunks
* 1/2 cup small pea eggplants or substitute with shelled fresh peas (optional)
* 6 mushrooms cut in 1/2 and/or add 1/2 small red or green pepper. Just depends on what secondary veggies you like besides eggplant.
* 2 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
* Fish sauce or salt (optional)
* 2 tsp. palm sugar or regular sugar
* 1/2 to 1 cup fresh sweet basil leaves and flowers
* Slivered chillies (optional)
* Jasmine rice
Generally speaking, the optional ingredients really depend on if you like them or not; a lot like making a soup recipe, each person has different tastes.
You can use regular cal-rose type rice, but the more you can use the authentic ingredients, the more it adds to the overall Thai character.Cook the rice in a steamer or otherwise beforehand so it's ready to go when you're done with the curry. Do not shake the can of coconut milk before opening so that the cream remains on top.
1. Spoon about 2/3 cup of this thick cream into a medium-size saucepan and heat over medium-high heat; Mae Ploy milk is best cause it has proportionally more cream than Chao Koh. Reduce until smooth and bubbly, and until oil begins to separate from the cream.
2. Add the curry paste and fry in the cream for a few minutes to release the aromas. Add the optional slivered chili and infuse for a bit longer, then pour in the remaining milk. Bring to a boil and add the pork.
3. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes uncovered before adding the optional vegetables (peas, pea eggplants, mushroom, red pepper, etc.). At this point, you can also add the Thai eggplants, cause they're hard and will simmer awhile--BUT, if you have to use a Chinese, Japanese or regular eggplant, add them last and then be prepared to finish more quickly cause they can get easily mushy. In other words, you want to simmer more delicate vegetables last. During the course of cooking all the ingredients, you'll want to sample the broth and decide if you want to add some water or additional broth if the curry flavors are too overwhelming for your tastes.
4. Simmer a few minutes more, then stir in the kaffir lime leaves (optional) and sugar. Season to taste with fish sauce (optional). Continue to simmer until eggplants and peas are tender. Stir in most of the basil last and cook another minute.
5. Serve hot over jasmine steamed rice and garnish with a couple basil leaves, if desired.
That's about it. This recipe is about as easy to make as soup and leftovers can be saved a few days as well--don't worry if the coconut broth hardens up when in the fridge cause it'll soften again when recooked. One of the things I've found is that you might eat all the meat and vegetables during one meal, and can reuse the broth to simmer more meat/vegetables for a 2nd meal the next day--just boil the meat, add the vegetables, then basil, etc. in order of cooking time once again while leaving out any spices is already well-seasoned.