Nam Phrik Num (Thai aubergine and chillie spicy dip)

1/2 cup (120 ml)Kratiem (garlic cloves),
1/4 cup (60 ml) Hom daeng (shallots), whole
6 Prik chi fa chillies (Thai chillies)
4 medium Tomatoes
1/2 cup (120 ml)Makhuea pro (Thai eggplants)
2 tbsp (30 ml) Nam manao (lime juice)
2 tbsp (30 ml) Nam pla (fish sauce)
1 tbsp (15 ml)Palm sugar
1 tbsp (15 ml) Hom daeng (shallots), finely sliced
1 tbsp (15 ml) Bai chi (coriander/cilantro) chopped finely

The ingredients are first grilled or barbequed. In Thailand this is done by placing them on an iron sheet over a charcoal fire, any griddle facility would be as effective. The egg-plants used are the golf-ball sized Thai egg plants, but if these are unavailable, cut a normal purple aubergine up with a melon baller. The char element is an important component in the over-all flavour of this Nam Phrik


Grill, barbeque, or char the garlic, whole shallots, chilis and tomatoes until the skins just start to turn black. Skin and quarter the tomatoes and discard the seed pulp. Put the eggplant in a small saucepan, cover with water and simmer until barely cooked (they should still be firm). Place all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle or food processor and process to a coarse paste. Taste for balance: the sauce should be hot and sharp. If too hot add a little more sugar and lime juice (and possibly a little more fish sauce). Wll keep 3-4 weeks in a refrigerator. 

Nam Prik Num is normally served with Thai Sticky Rice and a selection of lightly steamed vegetables with deep fried pork skin pieces called pork scratchings in the UK. This is a great beer food!