A vivid orange curry was packed full of iron-rich cavolo nero and a head of pak choi that I had spare in the fridge; you can really use any green vegetable you like. Lots of dried red chillis were minced together with galangal, lemon grass and garlic to make a curry paste but it's the lime leaves thrown in while cooking that really gives it that fragrance the Thais do so well.
Aubergine & Tamarind Curry
For the spice paste:
A large handful of dried red chillis, rehydrated in boiling water
2 inches of galangal
6 cloves of garlic
1 stalk of lemongrass, inner soft part only
Half an onion
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp shrimp paste
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Deseed the chillis and blitz all of the above with a little of the water from soaking the chillis.
1 medium aubergine
3 stalks of cavolo nero, or other dark leafy greens
4 lime leaves, torn roughly
1 can of coconut milk
A few seeds of tamarind - put these in a little boiling water and work the tamarind paste away from the seeds. Drain, reserving the tamarind paste. Alternatively, use 1.5 tbsp ready made tamarind paste
1 tbsp sugar, to taste
2 tbsp fish sauce (or to taste)
1 tbsp each of chopped basil and coriander
Slic the aubergines into fingers and fry in a little oil until coloured on both sides. Set aside. Heat some oil in a wok and add 2 tbsp of the curry paste. Stir fry until fragrant, then add the aubergines back in. Add the leafy greens and stir to coat. Add the coconut milk with the lime leaves and cook gently for 15 - 20 minutes.
Add the tamarind, the fish sauce tbsp by tbsp and the sugar; taste as you go. Add more of whatever you think it needs but keep tasting; it should be perfectly balanced.
Scatter with the chopped basil and coriander and serve with rice.