In a pestle and mortar add the paste ingredients one at a time and bash well for about 15 minutes until you have a smooth mild green paste.
Alternatively place all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz to a fine paste – be aware that a pestle and mortar gives a much smoother paste and therefore a better result.
Set paste aside and prepare the rest of your ingredients. (Paste can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 weeks and be frozen for 3 months).
In a wok or pot heat the oil and add the paste. Stir-fry the paste off for 1 minute.
Add the solid coconut pulp from the tinned milk to help loosen up the paste in the oil.
Add the chicken and aubergines and coat in the paste cooking for 2 or 3 minutes. Slowly add a tablespoon of the liquid coconut milk at a time and stir thoroughly until you have a saucy curry. Be careful not to add too much milk at the same time or your curry will be watery.
Bring to the boil and add Thai basil, fish sauce, sugar and lime leaves.
Once at a boil, reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
If the sauce is too watery, use your spoon to bring the sauce at the edges of the wok back into the curry. If you need more liquid, add the remaining coconut milk
Taste the curry sauce, if not salty enough add more fish sauce, if not sweet enough add more sugar
Finish with the juice of half a lime.
Reprinted with permission of Damian Ettish