You may know that I am trying to cook light and healthy and take off some of this winter blubber. It is possible to cook healthy but still have tons of flavor. I stopped by my local Asian grocery on the way home from work and happened to find some of those small little round purple eggplants. So I grabbed some. All the way home I was trying to figure out how to make a curry without the fat. I came up with this.
For my curry paste, I made a purée of one onion, 6 cloves of garlic, 2 tbsp of ginger and a couple of thai chilis. This was simply thrown into a hot pan along with a tbsp of oil, a tbsp of curry powder, salt and pepper.
I cooked the paste down for about 5-6 minutes with constant stirring until most of the water from the onion had been cooked out and it began to brown a bit. This gives great color and flavor. You want to cook out the raw onion bitterness. This paste will help thicken my sauce. If I had thought ahead, I would have also thrown in a couple of the raw shrimp into the purée. This would have added another level of flavor to the overall dish. This is a great trick to do in dishes where you want the flavor of ingredients that you really don't want to stew for a long time.
The eggplant and sauce mixture was cooked covered for about 15 minutes until the eggplant became very tender and the sauce thickened a bit. About 3 oz of tilapia and 4 oz of peeled raw shrimp were added to the pan. This was covered and cooked for just a few minutes until the seafood was cooked through.
I think the dish turned out great. You could make this even better if instead of water added to the cooked paste you added a can of coconut milk! I thought about it but I didn't want the added fat tonight. That would take this dish over the top! If I do this again I would also add some fresh curry leaves when I throw in the eggplant and finish it off with some fresh cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lime. Oh, some Thai basil would be a great last minute addition too.