Chicken red curry with eggplants is probably one of the most popular Thai dishes often ordered in Thai restaurants. Often eaten with rice or Thai vermicelli.
Vegetables like round eggplant, pea eggplant, long bean, pumpkin and winter melon are often chosen in making red curry and green curry. Among those, a pair of round eggplants and pea eggplants seems to be the most popular choice.
First of all, in a traditional technique of making a Thai red curry, thick coconut is boiled and stirred simultaneously until quite thick and releasing oil floating up. This is used to stir-fry the red curry paste, resulting in the most fragrant curry sauce before adding chicken and remaining ingredients respectively.
- 300 g chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup thick coconut milk
- 2 cups thin coconut milk
- 3 tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 1 tbsp sugar (use palm sugar if available)
- 1 ½ – 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 150 g Thai round eggplants (if not available, use any kinds of eggplants cut into chunks), quartered
- 1 fresh red cayenne pepper, sliced diagonally
- 1 fresh green cayenne pepper, sliced diagonally
- 3-4 citrus leaves (use makrut lime leaves if available), midribs removed and torn into large pieces
- 1 handful Thai basil leaves
- Heat a wok over a medium heat, add about half of the thick coconut milk, bring to a boil while stirring with a spatula. Cook with stirring until quite thick and having oil floating up while boiling. Add Thai red curry paste, cook with stirring and add the remaining thick coconut milk a little at a time until empty. Cook with stirring until oily-red sheen.
- Add the chicken pieces and stir-fry for 2 minutes to coat with the red curry sauce.
- Add the thin coconut milk, stir a little to combine and bring to a boil over a high heat.
- Once bubbling, stir in sugar and fish sauce (taste and adjust seasonings if necessary). Cook for five minutes, or until the chicken is fully done.
- Add the eggplants and wait to bubble again.
- Once bubbling, stir in the sliced cayenne peppers and torn citrus leaves. Add Thai basil leaves and then press briefly to soak in the curry sauce. Turn off the heat.
- Serve garnished with Thai basil leaves and citrus leaves.
If pea eggplants are available, add ¼ cup to get a better flavour.