Small pea and apple eggplants, used in Thai and Indonesian cooking, are quite bitter and have lots of seeds. They can be found at Asian grocers. Skip the fish sauce or replace with tamari sauce for vegetarians.
75ml vegetable oil
1 tbsp grated ginger
½ medium brown onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp green curry paste
400ml coconut cream
4 makrut lime leaves
1½ tbsp palm sugar
3 tbsp fish sauce (replace with tamari for vegetarians)
100g pea eggplants, picked and washed
6 Japanese eggplants, cut in half but still joined at the top
1 lime, juiced
1 cup Thai basil leaves
steamed rice, to serve
Heat oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Fry ginger, onion, garlic and curry paste until fragrant and cooked through, about 30 minutes.
Add coconut cream and lime leaves and simmer to reduce by half. Add palm sugar, fish sauce and pea eggplants and simmer until eggplants are just cooked.
Shallow-fry Japanese eggplants in extra vegetable oil until golden.
Drain on paper towel and place in a large serving bowl.
Add lime juice to curry and check seasoning. Pour over fried eggplants and sprinkle over basil before serving with rice.