Kaeng pa, otherwise known as jungle curry, is from the forested areas of Thailand /

This Thai curry, which is spicy and made without coconut milk, is usually made with pork or chicken, but give it an autumnal twist and use rich venison instead

Andy Oliver, the chef behind the critically acclaimed East London restaurant Som Saa, has worked with Singha to bring a taste of Thailand to the home. Singha Beer is brewed using a blend of sweet, earthy and spicy flavours to perfectly complement Thai cuisine. Jungle curries aren't seen so much on menus over here in the UK but they are great.  Herbal, full of fresh vegetables and very spicy!  It's a really Thai taste. 

Jungle curry with grilled venison and green banana

Serves 4
Preparation time:  1.5 hours
Cooking time: 25 minutes

For the venison

600g of lean venison haunch or loin meat, trimmed of sinew or gristle
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
pinch of white sugar

For the curry paste

25g of long dried chillies (deseeded, cut into pieces and soaked in water for 15 mins then drained)
10 dry birds eye chillies (seeds left in, soaked in water for 15 minutes and drained)
2 tablespoons grachai root, peeled and chopped (optional)
3 tablespoons sliced lemongrass, 
2 tablespoons peeled and sliced galangal 
3 tablespoons sliced shallots 
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
2-3 coriander roots (or a large handful of ground coriander stems)
1 tablespoon gapi (Thai shrimp paste)
1/2 teaspoon kaffir lime zest (optional)
1 teaspoons black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the curry

850ml of chicken stock
4 tablespoons of plain oil (sunflower or similar)
4 tablespoons of fish sauce
Tiny pinch of palm sugar or golden caster sugar
1 large green banana or plaintain, pre boiled (see below) 
2 tablespoons of picked pea aubergines
2-3 Thai bird eye chillies, bruised
2 Thai 'apple' aubergines, sliced into bite sized wedges 
Small handful of Thai long beans or fine green beans
2 tablespoons of peeled grachai, sliced into thin long strips 
Small handful of picked thai holy basil leaves, or Thai sweet basil leaves 
5-6 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves 
4 or 5 stalks of fresh green peppercorns (optional)

To make the paste use a heavy pestle and mortar and add the sea salt, drained dried chillies and pound until smooth, now add the rest of the ingredients one by one, pounding until smooth before adding the next.   Once complete set aside for later (this stage can be done up to 2 days in advance).

Now grill the venison:  rub the meat with the fish sauce and sugar and charcoal grill (or use a griddle pan) until nicely coloured and medium rare (about 4 - 6 minutes on each side, depending on thickeness of your cut).  Allow to rest for 5 minutes then slice into bite sized pieces and set aside.  

For the green banana, peel and slice into bite sized pieces and place in a pot of salted cold water. Once the once beings to simmer, turn off the heat and set aside for 5 minutes. The bananas should be cooked but still with a slight bite. Drain and set aside.

To make the curry: add the oil to a pan place on a medium heat and gently fry the curry paste for 5 minutes, stirring to avoid sticking.

Add the chicken stock, fish sauce and pinch of sugar then the pea aubergines and kaffir lime leaves, simmer for 3 minutes before adding the apple aubergines, boiled green banana, bruised bird's eye chillies and fresh green peppercorns (if using).

Simmer for 3-4 more minutes before adding the sliced venison, grachai and basil. Turn off the heat, taste to check the seasoning (add a touch more fish sauce if needed) and serve. Serve with jasmine rice and as part of a shared Thai meal.

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