That Whole Foods supermarket is going to bankrupt me. I keep finding cool things like these that I want to try.
Picture borrowed from nandalaya.com, until I remember to photograph my own eggplants.
The market actually has a good selection of eggplants, from the normal aubergines we see all the time here to little yellow, white and blue ones. These tiny green ones caught my eye because I remember eating them in a green curry I had in Thailand. I was ill that evening with a horrible heat migraine and had stayed behind in my hotel room. Dinner was from room service and, after I’d finished, I tried asking the porter what the little, sour vegetables in the curry were. I’d assumed they were peas but the flavour was different and they had a harder texture.
Unsuprisingly, the porter was clueless and it wasn’t until I was visiting Saran Rom several years later that I encountered the little vegetables again. The staff here were much more well informed about the ingredients in the green curry and the maitre’ d even brought out a raw one for me to see. Apparently these eggplants are considered to be good in a green curry because of their slightly crunchy texture.
When I came across the plants in Whole Foods I made a mental note to make my own green curry with them. Then, on Thursday, I was planning to make a red curry with a twist but the key ingredient was unavailable. I thought it was a good time to make a green chicken curry instead with the exciting eggplants.
The curry was more difficult to make than it should have been. While i was getting my spices together, flatmate Ken came to ask me how to make a green curry from scratch. I started to tell him, and then realised that I wasn’t making a green curry at all. For some reason I’d gone on autopilot and was making a red one. I clearly need more sleep.*
So, I told Ken roughly how to make both a red and green curry paste and proceeded to make my red curry. Then I ran into problem 2. Somehow, during our move, we lost both our pestle and mortar pairs (i.e. Goon forgot to pack them). Fortunately Ken came to my assistance and did a pretty good job of pounding the spices in a bowl with a rolling pin.
Once the spices were roughly ground, I made my red curry paste and then the red curry in the way I normally do, except this time I threw in my eggplants roughly ten minutes before I was ready to serve.
Those eggplants really look like large peas, don’t they.Fortunately they were just as good in a red curry as they are in a green one. We had our curry with jasmine rice and, on Schmoof’s recommendation, I tried stir frying some choi sum with garlic, ginger, chilli and oyster sauce. I threw some mushrooms in for good measure too.
I’ve decided to enter Kalyn’s Weekend Herb Blogging this week with this post, so I’ve done a little bit of research on these eggplants**. Apparently eggplants are native to India Sri Lanka but are cultivated all over the place now. The wild plants produce small vegetables, like the ones I had in my curry. They were only half a centimetre in diameter. Cultivated plants tend to produce much bigger vegetables, like the purple ones we are used to seeing in our supermarkets.
The name ‘eggplant’ comes from the first growers of these plants in Europe and North America. The aubergines there looked a lot like Goose or Duck eggs since they were white and round.
This week, Weekend Herb Blogging is being hosted by Chris from Mele Cotte. Head over there on Monday to see the other exciting submissions for this week’s WHB.
*Or less alcohol. I’ve had a fair few bottles of champagne since I found out about my new job.
**Ok, you got me, I just looked them up on wikipedia.