Nam Phrik Kapi (Shrimp flavoured vegetableThai dip)


3+ phrik khii nuu (very small Thai chillies)
1 tablespoon garlic
1 tablespoon sugar
1 squeezed lime (about 1 tablespoon of juice)
1/4 cup Kapi (Thai shrimp paste)
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons makheua phuang (pea-sized Thai eggplant)
4 eggs
1 Chinese or Japanese eggplant, sliced into 1 cm thick rounds and put in a bowl of water mixed with 1 tablespoon of vinegar to prevent browning
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 bunch of cha om (a pungent vegetable, in fact the growing shoots of an acacia tree, sometimes available frozen in Thai grocery stores)
An assortment of fresh Thai vegetables, such as eggplant, cabbage, carrot, wing bean, long bean, radish all cut into long bite-size pieces.

Using a mortar and pestle: 

Grind the phrik khii nuu with the garlic until a rough paste is formed. 
Add the sugar and the lime juice and grind together. 
Add the shrimp paste and continue grinding until a paste forms. 
Add water. 
If the mixture is still too thick, add additional water, a teaspoonful at a time (nam phrik kapi should have the consistency of a slightly watery paste). Taste and add more chilies, lime or sugar, to taste. 
Add the makheua phuang, breaking slightly, but not grinding, with the pestle. 
Serve the nam phrik kapi in a  bowl.

Cooking the egg plant:

Beat eggs with a few drops of fish sauce or a pinch of salt, divide into two bowls and set aside. 
Drain eggplant and mix thoroughly with one of the bowls of egg. 
Heat cooking oil in a wok and taking two or three slices at a time, fry the eggplant in oil on both sides until crispy. 
Set on paper towels to drain. 
Remove the tender cha om leaves and blend with the eggs. 
Fry mixture in hot oil as a thick omelet or frittata, turning over to cook on both sides. 
Drain on a paper towel until cool then slice into bite-sized squares.