Thai Eggplant + Basil Chicken Curry
Last January, I decided to go outside my comfort zone of cooking. I had never cooked anything African, Asian, or Middle Eastern. The recipe I found is one I’ve now cooked many times: African Peanut Soup. I never realized how simple it was. In college, I took a few cooking classes, and I remember making a hand-ground Moroccan spice blend. Maybe I just associated those flavors with being very specialized, expensive to accumulate, and labor intensive. But really, you can get lots of exciting spice blends for these kinds of cooking just like you can get Italian seasoning or taco seasoning. I’ve incorporated these new flavors into my pantry, so I can make a curry or an authentic African stew at a moment’s notice. (I realize this is not important to everyone.)
For this curry, I used Red Curry with Chicken and Chickpeas as a guideline. When you use coconut milk for curries, don’t use the kind in a carton (aka the kind you use as a milk substitute). Use canned coconut milk. I like to sauté the onion and garlic, but not the bell peppers or eggplant. The reason is that I don’t want the peppers or eggplant to get overly soft, so I add them just right before the coconut milk and curry paste. This is the brand of coconut milk I use, and this is the curry paste.
This recipe goes over Perfectly Cooked Brown Rice, but you could also serve it over Perfectly Cooked Quinoa. I also did an adaptation of Basic Baked Chicken for this recipe. The adaptation is for bone-in, skin-on breasts, and you can find it here.
Total Time: 90 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
½ onion, diced small
2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced small
1 green bell pepper, diced small
½ medium eggplant, diced small (about 2 cups)
3 cans light coconut milk
- Add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to a large pot over medium heat.
- As the oil heats up, add the onion, and sauté until translucent, about 6 minutes.
- Add the garlic, and saute for another 1-2 minutes.
- Take the pot off the heat. Add the yellow and green bell peppers, eggplant, diced chicken, curry paste, and coconut milk.
- Return to heat. Bring the curry up to a rapid simmer (medium high heat).
- Let the curry cook for about 30 minutes. (**see note)
- Serve the curry hot over Perfectly Cooked Brown Rice. Squeeze fresh lime juice over, and sprinkle with freshly torn basil.
**Note: You can either serve it now over rice. Or you can turn it down to low, cover, and keep warm until ready to serve.