This profoundly spicy, chestnut-colored pork curry radiates a pungent slow-burning heat from generous amounts of roasted black pepper, along with long peppers and naughty charred dry chili peppers. The curry’s aroma is concentrated even further by roasting the ingredients prior to pounding them – a process that shaves the high notes of the curry and provides a low-pitched intensity that lasts far beyond each bite.
An unusually high quantity of julienned young galangal adorns the dish like the spikes of a hedgehog, piercing the smoky, earthy fragrance of the peppercorns with higher citrus notes; fresh green peppercorns reinforce its peppery core with a discreet herbal freshness.
Dee bplee (ดีปลี) – Javanese long pepper or Long Indian Pepper
Javanese long pepper (Piper retrofractum) and Indian long pepper (Piper longum) both produce a small, elongated fruit that resembles a closed pine cone. Long pepper has a rich history in early Indian and Indonesian-style cooking that dates back thousands of years; it is often intermingled and confused with black pepper. The Romans were familiar with both, and used the peppers interchangeably.
The south of Thailand is close to Indonesia’s peppercorn production centers, overlooking the very same oceans crossed by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in his pursuit of spice trade riches. In the late 15th century, black peppercorns made up more than 90% of the entire spice trade: The discovery of the Americas, the introduction of chili peppers and the advent of commercial transportation all contributed to a decline in the use of long pepper.
However, Javanese long pepper (Piper retrofractum) is still widely used in southern and northern Thai cuisines. Its flavor resembles that of ordinary black pepper but it has a hotter taste with sweet, somewhat earthy undertones; the Indian variety is slightly bitter compared to the Thai long pepper.
- This style of curry is ideal for wild boar meat and any other game meat, as well as beef, pork and chicken.
- Use palm sugar only in very small quantities, with the desired amount should only paint a vaguely felt sweet base.
- Do not use any green herbs to touch up the curry. The desired flavor lift is produced by using green peppercorns, which play off the black and long peppers, and julienned kaffir lime leaves add sparks of citrusy freshness.
- Serve alongside hot white rice and a crispy Thai omelette.
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- 400 g pork neck meat (สันคอหมู)
- 2 tablespoons fermented shrimp paste (kapi)(กะปิย่างไฟ) Fermented Shrimp Paste
- 1/2 cup young galangal (ข่าอ่อน)
- 1/2 tablespoon palm sugar (น้ำตาลมะพร้าว)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (น้ำปลา)
- 7 fresh peppercorns (พริกไทยอ่อน)
- 1/2 cup kaffir lime leaves (ใบมะกรูด)
- neutral tasting cooking oil (น้ำมันพืช) Rice bran
- 1-2 cups pork stock (น้ำสต๊อกหมู)
Roasted Southern Curry Paste
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns (พริกไทยดำ) Roasted
- 2 pieces Indian long pepper (dee bplee) (ดีปลี) Roasted
- 4 dried red long chili (phrik chee fa) (พริกชี้ฟ้าแห้ง) Roasted
- 7 dried Thai bird’s eye chili (phrik kee noo) (พริกขี้หนููแห้ง) Roasted
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (เกลือทะเล)
- 1/2 cup lemongrass (ตะไคร้) thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon coriander roots (รากผักชี) thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup galangal (ข่า) thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup Thai garlic (กระเทียมไทย) thinly sliced
- 6 cm fresh turmeric (ขมิ้นชัน)
- Over low heat, roast black peppercorns and long pepper until fragrant.
- Roast the de-seeded long dry chilies until charred.
- Set aside the roasted ingredients.
- A visual overview of the curry paste ingredients.
- Over low heat, roast all the curry ingredients except the kapi.
- A visual overview of the curry paste ingredients after roasting; pound all the ingredients, except the kapi, into a smooth paste.
- Add a bit of oil to a wok. Over medium heat, fry the curry paste until it is fragrant, and then add the kapi.
- Fry and mix kapi the with the curry paste.
- Add water gradually, mixing and cooking the curry until it has a thick consistency.
- Julienne the young galangal.
- Add the julienned young galangal to the curry.
- Cook until the young galangal releases its aroma.
- Add palm sugar.
- Add fish sauce.
- Add pork meat.
- Cook until the pork is fully cooked, then add green peppercorns.
- Mix and add hair-thin julienned kaffir lime leaves.
- Serve with hot white rice.