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Healthy Food

Five-Spice Jungle Curry

Story

Jungle curry is a popular curry dish in the central region. Gang Pa is a word derived from the word ‘Paka’ or ‘Pa’, which means culinary art. ‘Gang Pa ‘ is a curry that does not use coconut milk or oil in the cooking process and as a result is incredibly difficult to make, with few cooks excelling at this dish. Over time, the word ‘Gang Paka’ has become eroded, leaving only ‘Gang Pa’ and numerous variations on the dish have popped up in places like Rayong and Kanchanaburi.

Kanchanaburi and Ratchaburi are border areas adjacent to the Tanaosri Mountain Range, where people grow small, fragrant ‘Bird’s Eye’ Chilis among the native cultivars. There are also very pungent varieties of ‘Holy Basil’ and ‘Eggplant’ to be found here, which are used in the curry, making it taste mellow and well-rounded. These three ingredients define the aroma and flavor of the region’s Jungle curry.

As for the eastern provinces of Chanthaburi, Rayong, and Trat; they don’t have the same hot chili peppers, but they utilize various local herbs such as cassumunar ginger, dried ginger, black pepper, dried coriander flowers, and white cardamom, giving the curry a distinct pungent aroma and intense flavor.

Health Benefits

‘Five-Spice Jungle Curry ‘ is a popular spicy dish in the central region. It is an unusual dish in that it doesn’t contain coconut milk, but makes up for it with a host of a lot of spices which balance the strong smell of the fish or meat used in the dish. The spicy flavors of chili and herbs in the seasoning enhance the appetite.

  • ‘Fingerroot’ provides quercetin which helps relieve cough and cold.*
  • ‘Holy basil leaves’ contain caffeic acid, which has anti-influenza and immune-modulating effects.**
  • ‘Peppercorn’ contains piperine, is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.***
  • ‘Lemongrass’ contains quercetin to enhance immunity.****
  • ‘Galangal’ helps prevent allergic reactions, has anti-inflammatory effects and fights off bacteria and viruses.*****
  • ‘Turmeric’ contains curcumin which helps the body’s immune system work efficiently.*******
  • ‘Chili’ contains capsaicin which helps relieve cold symptoms and reduce mucus and phlegm.*******
  • ‘Thai eggplant’ helps improve the digestive system, constipation, and reduces the incidence of hemorrhoids. It also helps detoxify residues from digestion in the intestines as well. It is also suitable for diabetics and those who control their sugar levels.
  • ‘Pea eggplant’ contains antioxidants, prevents the degeneration of cells in the body, reduces premature aging, and can help prevent cancer.

Ingredients

  • free range chicken 100 gr
  • jungle curry paste
  • fingerroot 5 gr
  • green peppercorn 2 gr
  • seasonal wild vegetables 50 gr
    • baby corn
    • pea eggplant
    • long bean
    • green brinjal
  • chicken stock 500 gr
  • sugar 10 gr
  • fish sauce 50 gr
  • sliced chili5 gr
  • holy basil 3 gr
  • kaffir lime leaf 2 gr

Directions

Bring water to the boil and dissolve the jungle curry paste to form the soup.

Add the fingerroot, young peppercorns, chili and kaffir lime leaves.

Add the chicken and boil until cooked through. Add the basil leaves and stir.

Season with fish sauce and sugar and serve with a garnish of sliced chili.

Reference
* Maurizio R and Cristiana V, Establishing the tolerability and performance of tamarind seed polysaccharide (TSP) in treating dry eye syndrome: results of a clinical study, , 29 March 2007
** Chong TE, et al. Boesenbergia rotunda: From Ethnomedicine to Drug Discovery. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2012; Article ID 473637
*** Tsai KW. Immunomodulatory effects of aqueous extract of Ocimum basilicum (Linn.) and some of its constituents on human immune cells. Biology. 2011; 5(7): 375-85
**** Tasleem F, Azhar I, Ali SN, Perveen S, Mahmood ZA. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of Piper nigrum L. Asian Pacific journal of tropical medicine. 2014;7(Suppl 1):S461-S468.
***** Khaerunnisa S, et al. Potential Inhibitor of COVID-19 Main Protease (Mpro) from Several Medicinal Plant
Compounds by Molecular Docking Study. Preprints 2020

****** Russo M, Spagnuolo C, Tedesco, The flavonoid quercetin in disease prevention and therapy: facts and fancies. Biochem Pharmacol. 2012;83(1):6-15.
******* Susan J. Hewlings and Douglas S. Kalman, Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health
********Vonne D., Ofelia G., Guillermo O., José P., & Tzayhrí G. (2014). Determination of Capsaicin, Ascorbic Acid, Total Phenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of Capsicum annuum L. var. serrano by Mid Infrared Spectroscopy (Mid-FTIR) and Chemometric Analysis. Journal of the Korean Society for Applied Biological Chemistry, 57(1): 133-142.