This recipe is a mashup of three dishes that are cooked with tamarind: the Malaysian dish telur Belanda with deep-fried eggs, the Thai son-in-law eggs (hard-boiled) and an Egyptian eggplant stew.
Tamarind is usually sold in pulp and paste forms. Sometimes, you can even find the fruit in pods. For ease, we’ve used the paste for this recipe. If using the sticky pulp, combine 2 tablespoons with a little hot water, leave for 10-15 minutes, then squeeze it, removing the seeds and fibrous threads.
The recipe was first published on TheStar at https://www.thestar.com.my/food/food-news/2020/06/15/aromatics-offer-the-foundations-of-flavour
- 300g Chinese eggplant
- 3 eggs
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1-2 tbsp tamarind paste
- 1 tsp fish sauce, or to taste
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
- 1 stalk green onion (green part only), thinly sliced
- Vegetable oil
- Prepare a steamer.
- Cut the eggplant in half lengthways, then into 1cm slices. Steam over high heat until tender, 8-10 minutes. Remove from steamer and set aside.
- Heat 1/4 cup oil in a wok. Fry the eggs, one at a time, until golden and crisp around the edges. Cut into 7-8 pieces and set aside.
- Leave 1 tbsp of oil in the wok. Sauté the onion over medium heat until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the tamarind paste, fish sauce, sugar and water. Bring to the boil. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Turn down the heat and add the steamed eggplant. Simmer for a further 1-2 minutes.
- Add the crispy egg pieces and toss together. Add the sliced chilli and green onion. Dish out and serve.