Roasted Eggplant with Tamarind and Lime

, from Issue #57. September, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Roasted Eggplant with Tamarind and Lime

Eggplant is incredibly versatile and marries beautifully with Asian flavours. This was the favourite dip at the photo shoot!


1 large eggplant, cut into 3cm chunks
500 grams ripe tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, sliced thinly
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons caster sugar
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
finely grated zest 1 lime
1 tablespoon lime juice
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
To finish
handful coriander, chopped
¼ cup thick coconut cream
finely grated zest 1 lime


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Put the eggplant, tomatoes and red onion in a large roasting dish. Toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20–30 minutes, turning once until everything is very soft and well cooked, with some of it slightly blackened in places. Pull off the tomato skins and discard. Set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the ginger and cook for 1 minute then add the garlic and cook until both are pale golden, stirring constantly. Don’t let it get brown or it will be bitter. Lift out with a slotted spoon and place in a mortar or other heavy-based bowl.

Stir the sugar, chilli, fish sauce and tamarind into the remaining hot oil in the pot and cook for 3–4 minutes until the sugar dissolves and the sauce becomes syrupy. Remove from the heat. 

Pound the ginger and garlic to a fine paste then stir into the caramelized sugar mixture. Add the lime zest and juice. 

Put the vegetables into a large bowl and pour over the sauce. Gently mix to combine, leaving the vegetables a little chunky. Cool.

To finish: Stir in the coriander and spread onto a serving plate. Drizzle with the coconut cream and top with the lime zest. Makes about 2 cups.