Burmese Eggplant Curry (Khayan Thee Hnut)
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Eggplant is simmered to melting softness in a fantastically pungent curry fortified by shrimp paste, a recipe from home cook Khin Thuzar in Yangon, Myanmar. This recipe first appeared in our May 2014 issue with the story Food For The Soul.

Yield: serves 2-4

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. dried shrimp, rinsed
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 (1″) piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 13 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 12 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 4 small Japanese eggplants, peeled, quartered lengthwise and halved crosswise
  • Cooked white rice, for serving
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Soak shrimp in 1 cup boiling water until softened, 8–10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a food processor; add ginger and purée into a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl; set aside. Add garlic and scallions to food processor and purée into a smooth paste; set aside. Heat half the oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; fry shrimp paste until fragrant, 2–3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.
  2. Add remaining oil to pan; fry garlic paste, the paprika, and turmeric, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1–2 minutes. Return shrimp paste to pan; add eggplant and 2 cups water; boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is tender, 8–10 minutes. Serve with rice on the side.

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