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Gaeng Paa Pla Dook (Jungle Curry with Catfish)

Curry Paste:
2 tablespoons chopped lemon grass
8 shallots
6 cloves garlic
1/4 cup chopped lesser ginger
8 dried jalapeno peppers
1 teaspoon canned peppercorns
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 pounds catfish -- cut into 1" slices
1/4 cup fish sauce -- (nam pla)
3 cups water
1/2 cup Thai eggplant
1/4 cup sliced green jalapeno pepper
1/2 cup sweet basil leaves
10 whole kaffir lime leaves


In the days when travel through various parts of Thailand required journeying through areas of jungle, the people had to make do with what was available there. This recipe is so named because the ingredients and cooking method made it a suitable dish for the jungle. Best eaten in the presence of monkeys, tigers and snakes to keep it more authentic.

Combine all the ingredients for the curry paste, using a mortar and pestle or a blender.

Heat a large saucepan and add the oil and curry paste. Stir-fry for 1 minute on medium-high heat.

Add the fish, fish sauce, water and eggplant and heat to boiling. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and remove from the heat. Serve.




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