800 grams boneless chicken thighs, skin off
4 long Japanese eggplants
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
300 ml coconut cream
1 tablespoon palm sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
6 kaffir lime leaves
3 green chillies, seeded and chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 stalks lemongrass, tender inner part only, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, chopped
zest of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped coriander root
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/3 cup chopped coriander or Thai basil
Slice the chicken into 2 cm wide strips and the eggplant into 3 cm pieces.
Paste: Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to a smooth paste. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook the paste for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
Add the eggplant and the chicken and stir to coat in the paste. Stir in the coconut cream, sugar, fish sauce and the kaffir lime leaves and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the sauce has reduced and the chicken is cooked.
To serve: Stir through the lime juice and coriander and transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with lime wedges.
Palm sugar: also known as Gur, Jaggery or Gula Melaka. Derived from several different palm trees, including the palmyra and coconut palms. The sap of the palm is boiled down and the result can be either similar to a thick honey, a soft paste or a hard cake which is then grated or shaved. These come in different shapes and sizes and the colour can vary from pale to dark. The flavour is quite caramelly and can be substituted with equal parts of brown sugar and maple syrup. Available from Asian supermarkets.