I chose three wild foraged hairy leaves for this Thai curry – they all have different flavours and nutritional value: comfrey (Symphytum), in particular, has a high protein content as well as B12, calcium, phosphorus and potassium.
However, comfrey should only be used sparingly in cooking as it can be toxic if eaten in large quantities.
150 ml coconut milk
50 ml water or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil or other vegetable oil
½ stalk lemongrass
1 green bird’s eye chilli
2 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1 stalk wild chervil (20 cm long)
1 pinch coarse sea salt
3 nettle tops
3 comfrey tops
leaves from 2 cleaver strings
In a blender or pestle and mortar grind the lemongrass, wild chervil stalk, ginger, chilli and sea salt together. The resulting curry paste will look quite fibrous.
In a saucepan heat the vegetable oil with the curry paste for less than a minute to infuse the flavours, then add the coconut milk, soy sauce and water plus the comfrey leaves, roughly chopped. Comfrey takes longer to cook than the other ingredients. After 5 minutes’ cooking add the nettle and cleavers and cook for another 2 minutes. The curry is ready to serve with either rice or noodles.
Picture: comfrey. Credits: Paola Bassanese