4 long red chillies
6 garlic cloves, crushed
200 g palm sugar
1 small pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 2cm/¾in cubes
50 ml fish sauce
2 tbsp tamarind paste
2 litres oil, for deep-frying
300 g tofu, cut into 2.5cm cubes
50 g cornflour
1 handful Thai basil
- Split the chillies down the middle and remove the seeds. Pound the halved chillies a few times with a pestle or the end of a rolling pin (this will soften the flesh and release the flavours). Finely chop and mix with the garlic and palm sugar in a large pan. Cook until the sugar starts to boil. Add the pineapple and cook for 5 mins until the pineapple softens, and the sugar starts to caramelise and turn brown. Add the fish sauce and tamarind. Return to the boil, then take off the heat.
- Heat 5-10cm of oil in a wok and roll the tofu in the cornflour. Fry the basil leaves so that they crisp, then transfer to kitchen paper to drain. Fry about 5-6 pieces of tofu at a time until golden brown, then leave to drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm in a low oven while you fry the rest.
- Warm the sauce through. Place a few cubes of tofu on each plate, pour over the sauce and sprinkle with the basil.