Roasted Thai Eggplant Curry

I was craving for fresh water prawns and crabs but lazy me went to the wrong place to shop and found myself buying Thai eggplant and herbs instead.  So I ended up making eggplant curry and the prawns and crabs are momentarily forgotten. 
Thai eggplants come in either green or purple and they’re smaller and plump- cute, actually.  I started by splitting the eggplants in half with stems on and oven-roasting them after a light canola oil massage and sprinkling of salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  It took 35 minutes to soften them at 375F.  I used two small bags about a dozen in each if my memory serves me right.
Then comes prepping the other ingredients: julienne a 2-inch piece of fresh ginger; slice thinly the white part of lemon grass to come up with at least a tablespoon; slice a medium purple onion (only because I ran out of yellow ones); crush about 6 cloves of garlic, have a can of the best coconut milk available Mae Ploy to which a cup and a half of water will be added; diced tomatoes- about 2 pieces if big and devoid of seeds and a bunch of fresh Thai basil.  I used about 2-3 tablespoons of yellow curry paste for this dish and 2 chicken cubes. 
In a non-stick pan, I sautéed the onion, garlic, ginger and lemon grass with the yellow curry paste in 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat.  
The objective is to cook these with the yellow curry paste before adding the coconut milk.  I added a cup and half of water, 2 chicken cubes and a tablespoon of red pepper flakes followed by two tablespoons grated sugar palm.  
Allow to simmer for about 8 minutes- stir and then taste if it needs salt or fish sauce. I didn't have to add more because of the chicken cubes and curry paste.  Add the eggplant and tomatoes and then the fresh basil.   I added the tomatoes almost towards the end because I don't want them all wilted and almost pureed.  Serve with steamed white rice.  Enjoy!
This dish requires a cooling drink so I made my Coco-Pandan Dream made from fresh coconut water and half and half sweetened with coconut simple syrup; added pandan boba and of course, the shaved young coconut meat.  What a refreshing finish to a spicy and delicious meal!


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