Thai Jungle Curry or Kaeng Pa

October 03, 2021 3 Comments

Serving presentation for Thai Jungle curry

This is as fiery as it gets for a Thai curry, it is way more spicy than most people can handle. It is also one of the simplest Thai curries to prepare, Jungle curries, or more accurately, forest curries, were traditionally made with whatever was to hand so your choice of meats and vegetables comes down to whatever you want in your curry. Although this was a dish most often cooked with wild boar it is far more common these days to see it cooked with pork or sometimes chicken. Of all the ingredients you might use I think it's worth getting some Thai basil which is sold in most supermarkets these days, fresh green peppercorns on the stalk are great but you would need to find those in an Asian shop. This curry is also cooked without coconut milk but I don't doubt that someone is going to try it with coconut milk:-) Update.( I've been told by quite a few customers this is what they are doing! )
I'll wait to see customer feedback on this one, it's certainly possible to make it even spicier but no point in doing so if only a few people are able to take it.

A note of caution. Although this is already a cooked curry paste it's still capable of inducing a sneezing attack or worse when the paste is being heated. For that reason, the paste is added to water and cooked rather than cooked directly as with most curry pastes.  A cooker hood is also advisable. I just had someone* post a comment " Terrible methodology You're supposed to fry the spice paste first for starters." Nope, not unless you have a restaurant extractor fan at full blast, this is a real Jungle curry paste not one of those pretend ones.
*( I could think of terms more suitable than "someone" but best not!)
Suggested ingredients for Thai Jungle curry. Use around 500g of meat as well as vegetables. Note I have used aubergine below and after a few tests I think it tends to make the curry milder than it would be without it, probably due to the high water content. Personal preferences again, spice levels are so subjective. I would also add fish sauce and sugar to it but that is to my own taste.

Ingredients for Thai Jungle curry

This is how I have prepped my ingredients.

 Add a spoonful of oil to a pan and cook the meat whilst stirring.

Add meat to pan and cook whilst stirring

 Add 300 ml of water to the pan.

Add 300 ml of water to the pan

 Add the Jungle Curry paste to the pan.

Add Jungle Curry paste to the pan

Bring the contents of the pan to a simmer and cook for a few minutes.

Bring contents of pan to a simmer 
Add vegetables to pan and cook for a few minutes more. This paste has a low salt content as it allows me to judge the heat better when making it, so you might want to test and adjust salt content to your own taste, fish sauce would be ideal.

Add vegetables to pan simmer till cooked

 Garnish with Thai basil if available and serve with rice.

Serving Presentation Thai Jungle Curry from My Thai Curry
Serving presentation for Thai Jungle curry


If you like this recipe please click the star rating or add a comment below!  Kop Khun Kha, Nitsa.x

3 Responses


April 27, 2024

I would eat this Jungle Curry every day, if I could, I totally love it.
I use beef, vegetables are pepper, potatoes and water chestnuts, which seem to soak up the flavour.
Also add nam pla and lime juice, serve with rice, just perfect.
Very hot, but all the flavours come through beautifully.
mythaicurry replied:
Ooh Rachael, yes I can see water chestnuts in it! Glad you enjoyed it so much :-)

Jeremy k
Jeremy k

December 13, 2023

Wow, incredible jungle curry. Have to admit I was a little scared when tasting while cooking as it was super hot however when it all came together with the vegetables and then the rice it was a real winner. Incredible depth of flavour and and a great taste. As suggested I added some fish sauce and a little sugar. Lovely!

David Williams
David Williams

May 13, 2023

Your Jungle paste is absolutely brilliant – I love it. I have sought far and wide for such a paste and now I have found it. Thank you so much. Your recipes are wonderful with lots of alternatives and tips for personal taste. Keep up the good work.

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