Monday, 10 December 2012

Deep-Fried Aubergines in Curry Batter

vegan dish

I'm back after what felt like an eternity of not posting any recipes.  This particular dish is my own variation of a food item I had the pleasure of sinking my teeth into when I was in Cambodia.

Get this:  I was living in a hotel whose kitchen had very little knowledge of how to take care of vegetarians so the chef ended up cooking the same stuff over and over again.  We were four in the vegetarian table and what bothered us was that tofu fritters in mushroom sauce and this dish I'm about to show you how to make were their best items yet they only served them thrice for the entire time we were there.

Looking back at it makes me miss it so I decided to make my own version.  The thing about mine, though, is that it isn't quite the same as the ones they served at Monoreach Angkor Hotel.  Some of you would probably say it's better (if you love curry) but if not...  Oh well.  Not my problem.

If you follow this recipe strictly, you'll come up with a plate good for:

- 3 people

You will need:
- 2 medium-sized aubergines (about 350-400 grams total), sliced

For the marinade:
- 5:3:1 tablespoon ratio of soy sauce (or nama shoyu), pineapple juice and muscovado sugar 
- ½ cup of vegetarian oyster mushroom sauce
 - your own favourite vegan marinade... Do what you want, yo!

For the batter: 
- ½ cup of all-purpose flour 
- 1 tablespoon of corn starch 
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric 
- 1 teaspoon of curry powder 
- ⅓ cup of water, or more as needed

Let's make it:
1. Make thin slices out of the aubergines—about a third of an inch.  Crosswise, of course. 
2. Marinate them for about half an hour to an hour, squeezing and pressing occasionally to make sure the aubergines absorb the marinade. 
3. Mix your batter well.  Make sure to add just enough water to make the batter a little bit runny but not too runny 
4. Coat each marinated slice of aubergine well with the batter right before deep-frying. 
5. Deep fry them in batches for about 4 minutes or until golden—like the photo above.  Turn after 2 minutes if you think it's necessary.  Do not deep-fry individually, of course, but make sure you don't crowd them because they won't cook properly if you do that.  Duh!
6. Enjoy with teriyaki sauce or pineapple sauce or that awesome ubiquitous Indonesian condiment called kecap manis (sweet soy sauce).

P.S.  The bok choy in the photo is optional.  I just put it there because it makes things look pretty.  Deal with it.

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