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