Nam Phrik Num (Thai aubergine and chillie spicy dip)

 Ingredients:
 
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


Method:
 
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

Method: 

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!
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