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Prawn jungle curry with baby corn and sugar peas

A spicy curry that originates from northern Thailand. Jungle curry is unusual for a Thai curry because it doesn’t contain coconut milk.


  • Paste

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon white peppercorns

  • 50ml vegetable oil

  • 5 large green chillies, chopped coarsely

  • 2cm piece galangal, grated

  • 4cm piece lemon grass, chopped

  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, chopped

  • 1 bunch coriander, chopped

  • 5 shallots, peeled and sliced

  • 2 teaspoons shrimp paste, roasted

  • Curry

  • 1.5 cups chicken stock

  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar, grated

  • 50ml fish sauce

  • 12 green prawns, cleaned

  • and peeled, with tails left on

  • 7 baby corn, cut in half, lengthwise

  • 15 pea-eggplants, peeled

  • 1 handful coriander leaves

  • 1 handful Thai basil leaves, torn

  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, sliced finely

  • 1 tablespoon crispy fried shallots


  • 1.

    To make the paste, dry fry the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and peppercorns over medium heat for 4 - 5 minutes in a frypan or wok. Grind the spices into a powder using a spice grinder, blender or mortar and pestle.

  • 2.

    Heat oil in a saucepan, then add remaining paste ingredients and cook until softened.

  • 3.

    Transfer the mixture to a blender, add a little water and whiz until the mixture forms a smooth paste. Add the ground dry spices.

  • 4.

    Return the paste to the saucepan, add the stock, palm sugar and fish sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Adjust sugar and fish sauce to your taste.

  • 5.

    Add the prawns, baby corn and pea-eggplants. Continue to simmer until the prawns and vegetables are cooked through.

  • 6.

    Serve the curry garnished with coriander, basil, lime leaves and crispy fried shallots.


Extract from 'The Red Spice Road Cookbook', RRP $49.95. © John McLeay 2010

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