Aubergines and how Ceylonese aubergine curry is different from Thai green curry

Aubergines are smaller olive green eggplants, that we abundantly used to find in wet markets around my hometown suburban Colombo . Common big purple eggplants are not readily available to buy there however, the stronger flavored green aubergines always was a good match when in came to making curries.

This little aubergine, with its waxy olive-green outer skin, creamy color dense flesh and small seeds turn amazingly flavorful creamy curried sauce when cooked with perfect medium spicy seasoning blend that is custom made for this specific curry. In fact, I am so much used to the Sri Lankan way of currying green aubergine, than roasting eggplants and enjoying them as chips.

Aubergine curry is made by removing inner seed sacs and sautéing it with spices finishing it with splash of coconut milk.  I do love this curry with steamed rice, coconut sambal and white fish curry. it is fragrant, with medium heat and lots of curry seasoning flavor infused with creaminess of coconut milk. Thai way of currying green aubergines, however, is well known around the world than my own Sri Lankan curry. But both curries are equally flavorful treats.

Aubergines

There are lots of recipes on the web for Thai aubergine curry a k a Thai green curry from lots of web resources. One of my favorites is from Mark Wiens,

Authentic Thai green curry , Mark wiens

Also, there are good recipes already written from Recipe tin eats, Rasa Malaysia and the spruce eats. My recipe today however is for Ceylon aubergine curry.

When it comes to currying little green aubergine, I followed my mother’s recipe for the last dot except taking only one tip from the Thai version of it. it is in the process of prepping them.

How to clean and prep aubergines

Cleaning these little eggplants are a messy job that requires little tips ahead from a pro curry home cook. Aubergines can really stain your hands if you are not careful.  My mom’s way was to wrap them in a towel and smash them out and remove the seed pods with a fork or a boning knife, then throw them in to salty water bowl. However, I am going to be little more civil towards aubergines and just quartering them and dumping them into water bowl with little salt in it. sorry mama! I decided not to remove the seeds and make my fingertips and nails orange. Also, why throw away the nutrients.

Once the aubergines are washed and quartered, we are ready to make our Ceylon aubergine curry with them

Aubergine Curry recipe Ceylonese style

Aubergine curry

Cook time: 35 minutes

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 green aubergines
  • 5 to 10 green chilies
  • Handful of curry leaves
  • One medium red onion
  • One inch piece of ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • One stick of lemongrass
  • One pandan leaf
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • Two cloves
  • One inch stick of cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of Spanish red paprika
  • 2 tablespoons of coriander powder
  • One teaspoon of cumin powder
  • One teaspoon of black pepper powder
  • One teaspoon of salt
  • two cloves of Malabar tamarind
  • One teaspoon of mustard seeds

preparation

Wash and remove the stems from aubergines and cur them into quarters. Keep the rinsed aubergines in mildly salted cold water bowl and set aside.

How to make the Curry powder

Dry roast Spanish red paprika, coriander powder, cumin powder and black pepper powder

add one teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of turmeric powder.

How to make the curry

drain and coat aubergines with curry seasoning powder we made and let the seasonings soak in for five minutes.

heat one teaspoon of coconut oil in a heavy bottomed skillet. Add teaspoon mustard seeds and let it crackle. Then, add sliced onions, ginger, garlic, sliced green chilies fry for a minute. Add Curry leaves

Add seasoned aubergines, Fright for two minutes stirring constantly. Add Malabar tamarind and pandan leaves.

Finally add enough light coconut milk or water to nearly cover the aubergines.

cover and cook until aubergines are soft and and the curry is getting thick. Adjust the salt to your taste and finish with a splash of thick coconut cream. Cook about an additional minute or two until coconut cream is combined, hot and bubbly.  

Medium spicy Ceylon green aubergine curry is now ready. Serve hot with white rice or slice of sourdough bread on the side.

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