Khayan Thee Hnut (Burmese Eggplant Curry)

Burmese Eggplant Curry (Khayan Thee Hnut)
Burmese Eggplant Curry (Khayan Thee Hnut)
Eggplant is simmered to melting softness in a fantastically pungent curry fortified by shrimp paste.Ingalls Photography

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.

Khayan Thee Hnut (Burmese Eggplant Curry)
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.
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.