What a name! Whenever I eat this, I imagine it being served to me by natives in a higgelty piggelty treehouse in the rainforest while orangutans swing by the window. In reality, I know I would hate that – the sweaty stickiness, the exhaustion of trekking, the bugs. (I recently read From the Mixed up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankenweiler (great book, I wish I’d read it in my youth) and really related to this sentence about the main character: “Claudia doesn’t want adventure. She likes baths and feeling comfortable too much for that kind of thing.”) I think I must be getting increasingly high maintenance as I age, because I did in fact manage not one but two jungle treks in Thailand when I was backpacking years ago - and massively enjoyed both.
I stayed in a wooden house…
..met the opium addict better known as the medicine man…
…feasted on homemade curry…
…slept on the floor and bathed in the river…
…and trekked through a lot of lush, beautiful forest to get there. At the moment, I’m quite content just cooking exotic food rather than going on a trek for it! This is a delicious curry – if you can’t find tempeh, I’m planning on trying it with Quorn pieces next time and am confident it will be just as good.
Borneo Rainforest Curry
Serves 4, adapted from World Food Cafe
1 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
300g tempeh, cut into long strips (mine came already chopped into biggish chunks, so I kept them thus)
2-3 tbsp cashews
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 lemon grass stalk, finely sliced
small chunk of ginger, chopped into matchsticks
1/2 tsp chilli powder (more, if you like – or a couple of red chillies, chopped)
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp ground almonds
1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
200g baby sweetcorn, cut in half lengthwise
200g green beans, halved if you like
400g can coconut milk
rice to serve
1. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the tempeh and cashews for about 7 minutes until slightly browned.
2. Add the onion, garlic, spices, lemon grass, ginger and ground almonds. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
3. Tip in all the veg and stir to coat with the spicy goodness (a bigger pan than mine would be grand).
4. Pour in the coconut milk, bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes until the veg is tender. Season. Serve with rice. If you’ve got coriander leaves and chillies to hand, they’d make an attractive garnish.