Thai Aubergine is also known as Thai eggplant. It is a golf ball-shaped fruit that they consume the same way that the Americans consume potatoes. Although it is often believed as a vegetable, it is a fruit because they grow from a flowering plant and they contain seeds. Its shade varies but its colour is green. It can sometimes be medium green, pale green, or white with green stripes. More so, it has a crunchy texture and mild flavour. Hence, it can be consumed without removing the skin. Often, this has a bitter taste but it is sometimes stronger when the plant is overmatured.
Aside from these, it has a very natural smell as it is and it develops a bit of an earthy scent when it is cooked. Fun fact, the younger and fresher these fruits are, the better that they taste. So, to know whether this fruit is fresh, check the stems. It should be very firm and the fruit itself should not look yellowish.
So now, how to cook the aubergine in curry? Here is a step-by-step procedure on how it can be cooked in 30-60 minutes.
Veggie Thai Aubergine Curry
- 5 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 aubergines, cut into batons ¾ inches thick
- 1 peeled and quartered onion
- 4 peeled garlic cloves
- ¼ inches piece of peeled fresh root ginger
- 2 sticks of roughly chopped lemongrass
- 5 cardamom pods
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 3 tbsp peanut or cashew butter
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 250 ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 sliced fresh red chilli with the seeds removed
- 150 g washed fresh spinach
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Thai basil leaves
- Sea salt
- Combine 3 tbsp of oil, aubergine batons, and half a teaspoon of salt in a bowl.
- Fry in a large pan over high heat for 8-10 minutes. Stir frequently. When done, set aside.
- Put the onion, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass into a food processor and blitz until finely ground.
- Bash open the cardamom pods and place them over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes until aromatic.
- The skins and seeds of the cardamom pods should be discarded and put in a dry pan with the cumin and coriander seeds. Grind to a power.
- Combine that powder with the onion and garlic mixture, turmeric, nutmeg, sugar, and peanut butter.
- Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil in a large deep pan over medium heat. Add the curry paste mixture and fry for 3-5 minutes until cooked through and fragrant.
- Add the coconut milk and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add the aubergines and most of the chilli, and cook for 15-20 minutes.
- Add the fish sauce and lemon juice.
- Scatter over the Thai basil leaves and remaining chilli and serve.