Aubergine & Lemongrass Curry

About two years ago we left Sweden to travel the world with Elsa. She was only six months old at the time, and we had no idea what to expect or how things would go. I remember when we sat there in the airplane just before take-off; It all starts here, I thought to myself. And it definitely did. After a few unbelievable months in California, China and Vietnam, we finally ended up in Thailand. We spent our time there on beaches, in small bungalows and at exotic markets, completely isolated from the reality. Those months were magical. And our little family became tighter than we had ever been before.

As I sit here in our bedroom, watching the dark silhouettes outside and feeling the cold air from the windows, that whole trip feels like a distant dream. One way of making that dream less unreal is to look through all the travel photos that we have. Another is to simply enter the kitchen.

We recreated this curry from a faded memory of a dinner that we had on the beach of Koh Tao. What we remember most strongly about it was the distinct lemongrass flavor and the softly cooked aubergine that nearly melted on our tongues. In Thailand they often use a much smaller type of aubergine, but since they are hard to come by here, we used a large one that we cut in wedges. The brussel sprouts and apples are our own seasonal add-ins. Brussels sprouts might seem unconventional in a curry, but they fit right in. And the apples add a nice sweetness to it.

It’s remarkable how a memory can be so easily activated by a flavor or smell. I just have to take the backside of my knife and crush a stalk of lemongrass, and I’m right there on that beach again.

Lemongrass, Aubergine & Brussels Sprout Curry
4 servings

3 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 inch (2, 1/2 cm) fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 stalks lemongrass, crushed and finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp mustard seeds, ground in a mortar
1 medium size aubergine/eggplant, cut in wedges
2 small apples, cut in small dices

1 cup (240 ml) water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 can (1 2/3 cup / 400 ml) coconut milk
3 cups (300 g) brussels sprouts, cut in halves
1-2 tsp sea salt

Serve with:
Black rice for 4 persons
A handful fresh thai basil and fresh coriander/cilantro

Heat oil in a large pot on medium high heat. Add garlic and sauté for about a minute, then add all 5 spices, lower the heat a bit and stir constantly to ensure they do not burn. Add the aubergine wedges one by one. Make sure all wedges get soaked in the spicy oil. Then add the apple and fry everything for a few minutes. Add water and apple cider vinegar, cover with a lid and let cook for about 20 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Meanwhile, cook the black rice. Add coconut milk, brussels sprouts and salt to the curry and let simmer for about 10 minutes more. Stir in a generous handful of fresh thai basil and coriander. Serve with black rice and some salad on the side.

73 Comments

  • Jens
    Looks amazing, I will try it out as soon as possible!
  • Caroline
    Wow this looks delicious! I even know a store here in Munich, where you can buy the really small aubergines! Thx a lot for this recipe, I'm going to cook it tonight!
  • Looks delicious! I spent 6 weeks in Thailand and Laos last year and really miss the food, atmosphere and people...
  • Tastes and smells are great at triggering memories as are songs. I love Thai food flavours and add them to many non-Thai foods just to add that extra zing.
  • I am such a thai curry addict! I've never thought to use sprouts and aubergine in them though.
  • Casey
    I cooked this for dinner last night....it was delicious. Not sure I'm a huge fan of the brussel sprouts (have never really been a big eater of them) but the sweetness of the apples was a really nice touch. Love the lemongrass addition as well. I'll definitely be using this sauce as a base for future curries. Thanks!
  • this looks lovely...I hope to visit Thailand one day soon. On my list! Lemongrass and coconut--anything with these 2 ingredients is perfection, in my eyes.
  • This sounds delicious. I am looking forward to trying it out. I don't think I have made a curry from scratch yet, and this sounds pretty simple. Thanks for the beautiful recipe.
  • What a beautiful looking dish. I'll be trying this real soon! Those spices sound great, especially with the lemongrass. Thanks for sharing.
  • I have been trying to find a good curry recipe for Eggplant, it looks like I finally did! This dish looks amazing. I have never used lemongrass before... where do you buy it? Do most markets sell them? I'm really excited to try this.
    • Hi Emily, most supermarkets and grocery stores where we live sell lemongrass. If you can't find it there, you can always buy it from an Asian super market. Good luck! /David
  • I love this! Both the story about your travels and your dish... I definitely must give this a try. Thank you. Kelly
  • Magda
    Looks so yummy and I love the ingredients! Thank you for always being a well of inspiration.
  • Shelby
    This recipe looks like a total must! Can't wait to give it a go...I love when my travels inspire future meals at home! Than you for sharing!
  • I love Thai food so much! I've never been to Thailand, but Thai food has been a great discovery I made in DC. You are right, it takes so little to activate recollections. Your photos are beautiful!
  • What a beautiful dish- colors are stunning!
  • emily
    I truly loved following your adventures around the world. It was so brave of you to take that trip when Elsa was still so young. Your curry sounds delicious. I love the lemongrass twist!
  • How do you spell HEAVEN? Wow GKS…looks incredible. I will be hiding in the woods all weekend writing a book review…and cooking this! Perfect…thank you. Happy weekend!
  • So gorgeous... I love how it takes just one ingredient to bring up an entire memory. I'm so envious of your travels!
  • Beautiful memories. I had such a fabulous time when I was there. A remarkable place. People are so warm and caring, and the food is so colorful. Thanks for helping me bring back those memories.
  • This recipe is lovely! The curry looks so full of flavour!

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