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The chicken curry from Laos

This one is an interesting chicken curry recipe in that it takes advantage of the combined flavors of different curry spice mixes, usually it is referred to as the curry from Laos. Close to Thailand, and not far from India as well, Laos did not escape the deliciousness of curries... here is the proof!

Ingredients (for four people):

* 6 chicken thighs
* 2 cups coconut milk (400 ml)
* 1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste
* 1 tablespoon paprika
* 2 tablespoons curry powder
* 1 eggplant
* 1 stalk lemongrass, sliced lenghtwise
* 3 cloves garlic
* 2 shallots
* 1 onion
* 2 kaffir lime leaves
* 4 leaves of Thai basil
* 4 Tablespoons Nuoc Mam fish sauce
* 1/2 lb. long or green string beans sliced into 1 inch pieces


1) Chop the onion and the shallot. Reserve. Peel the skin from the garlic cloves and mince by cutting into thin slices. Cut the lemongrass branch lenghtwise, dice the eggplant into cubes and reserve everything.

2) Cut the chicken into small cubes. Heat up 2-3 tablespoons oil in a pan, sauté onion, shallot, the minced lemongrass, and garlic for 1 minute. Mix in the red curry paste, then add the chicken pieces. Sprinkle over the curry powder and paprika. Mix well to color everything. Add 4 tablespoons of fish sauce and stir so that everything is smooth.

3) Pour the coconut milk over + the liquid equivalent by volume of water. Put in the aromatic leaves, and simmer 1 hour until meat is tender.

4) 20 minutes before the end of the simmering time, mix in the diced eggplant and the green string beans. Serve this Lao Curried Chicken to your guests, dinner is ready...