3-4 medium eggplants, about 375g (3/4 lb)
6 spring onions, sliced
8 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp grated lengkuas
2 fresh green chilies, thinly sliced
1.5 tsp cummin, ground
3 black cardamoms, crushed
2.5cm (1 inch) stick cinnamon
1 tsp fennel, crushed
2 tbsp mild curry paste
1 fresh red chili, sliced
1 cup thick coconut milk
eggplants and sliced into quarters lengthways, from base to stem,
leaving section intact. Sprinkle with salt and stand for 4-5 minutes to
draw bitter juices. Rinse and wipe dry.
Heat 5cm (2
inches) oil to smoking point and fry eggplants until soft, turning heat
down after first minute. Drain and cool. Pour off all but 1 tbsp oil and
fry onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Add ginger and chilies and fry for
a further minute, then add all spices, curry paste and chili and fry for
4 minutes. Pour on coconut milk, add salt to taste and stir well.
eggplants to the pan and cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Serve warm or
cold as a main course or side dish.