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Thai Style Eggplant Salad

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for the salad

½ bunch Vietnamese mint, picked

½ bunch mint leaves, picked

2 sliced spring onions

½ bunch coriander leaf roughly chopped

1 bunch Thai basil leaves picked

1 chilli, finely sliced

1 shallot, finely sliced

A handful of bean sprouts

1 small cucumber, sliced

1 green mango, sliced (optional)

6 small apple eggplants or 3 long Japanese eggplants, sliced

Place all ingredients in a bowl and toss with nam jim dressing, add the fried eggplant slices and enjoy this hot spicy, textural Thai salad.

For the dressing (nam jim)

2 cloves garlic

pinch of sea salt

2 long red chillies

2 green chillies

50g sugar

2 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp lime juice

4 coriander roots, scrapped

8 white peppercorns

Place peppercorns in a mortar and crush. Add garlic cloves and a pinch of salt. Crush until smooth. Add the coriander root and pound until it starts to break down. Add chillies (with seeds in if you like it hot) and keep pounding. Add sugar, fish sauce and lime juice, add a few spoons of water for consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed, with more sugar, lime juice and fish sauce. This dressing should be hot, salty, sour and sweet.          

For the batter

100g cornflour

50g plain flour

5g baking powder

5g salt

100-150ml soda water

Sift the flours together

10g cumin seeds

20g coriander seeds

5g ginger powder

10g galangal powder  (optional)

5g chilli flakes

5g white peppercorns

10g turmeric powder

10g mango powder (amchur)

5g garlic powder (optional)

In a large mortar pound the white peppercorns, add the cumin and coriander seeds, add the chilli flakes and pound to a powder. Add the remaining ingredients and combine well. Add the sifted flour and salt and mix. Slowly add the soda water to make a batter. Heat vegetable oil in a wok and dip the eggplant slices into the batter and carefully drop into the hot oil. Cook until golden and drain on paper towel.

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