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thai-eggplant-curry recipe

Date:    Mon, 13 Jun 94 15:43:09 PDT
 From:    J. Ari Kornfeld (ari@sibari.isl.sri.com)
   Teri made the following this weekend.  I'm willing to take some
 credit though since I helped with some of the fatfree tricks &
 conversions.  We adapted this from a recipe published in our local
 paper, the San Mateo Times:
 Thai-Style, Spicy Eggplant-Mushroom Sauce
 1/2 lb. mushrooms 
 1 med. shallot
 2 med. garlic cloves
 1/2 tsp. Hunan style red chili paste (originally was 1 TB Tai Hot
          Sauce - Hunan chili paste is MUCH hotter though.)
 1-1/2 cup rice milk (We use Rice Dream Vanilla Lite. Any milk sub will do.)
 1 lb. eggplant
 1 med. red bell pepper
 1/2 cup chopped asparagus stems (steam the tips and serve on the side)
                (originally this was peas)
 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (optional - we used a few, not 1/2 cup)
 2 tsp. sugar
 1/2 tsp. plum sauce
 1/2 tsp. ginger
 1/4 cup veggie stock
 2-3 drops toasted sesame oil
 2   tsp  tapioca flour (see note)
 Mince garlic and shallot; quarter mushrooms, dice eggplant into 1-inch
 cubes and slice red bell pepper into long strips.
 In a large frying pan, on medium head add stock and mushrooms.  Simmer
 for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and brown.  Remove
 mushrooms and set aside.  In remaining stock add shallot and garlic,
 sautee for 1-2 minutes.  Add chili paste and milk.  Bring mixture to a
 boil then reduce heat and simmer on low for 5 minutes, stirring often.
 Add sugar, plum sauce and sesame oil (only a few drops!  It's amazing
 the flavor it adds).  Add eggplant, asparagus stems and red bell
 pepper.  Bring mixture back up to a boil.  Cover and simmer for 15
 minutes stirring occasionally until eggplant and asparagus are tender.
 In the last 5 minutes add mushrooms and fresh basil leaves.
 Serve over grilled polenta (recipe follows) or rice and the steamed
 asparagus tips.
 Note: When I made this recipe I felt that the sauce was too thin.  The
 original recipe called for coconut milk and olive oil as the sauce's
 base.  How I remedied this problem was as follows: I removed all the
 vegetables from the pan using a slotted spoon and turned the heat down
 to the lowest setting.  I placed them in the serving bowl and set
 aside.  In a measuring cup I added 1/3 cup cold water and 2 heaping
 teaspoons of tapioca flour (not pearls).  Once this was thoroughly
 mixed I poured it into the sauce while stirring with the slotted
 spoon.  In less than a minute the sauce had thickened very nicely.  I
 then poured the sauce into the bowl over the vegetables and served.
 It was pleasantly spicy (go light on the red chili paste if you
 dislike REALLY hot foods) and filling.
 Note2:  if you wanted to be more authentic you could try adding some
 coconut extract...
 -teri & ari
 kwvegan vegan