Eggplant Sambol / Kattharikai Sambol

(1 hour prep, 20 minutes cooking, serves 8)

My vegetarian friends are particularly fond of this dish. It offers a bright note, with its raw onion and lime juice, that wakes up a plate of rice and curry.

1 eggplant
1 rounded tsp salt
1 rounded tsp turmeric
oil for deep frying
3 fresh green chilies, sliced thin
1 medium onion, sliced thin
lime juice

1/4 cup coconut milk, optional

1. Cut eggplant into quarters lengthwise and then slice thinly. Rub with salt and turmeric, spread on a few layers of paper towels and leave at least 1 hour. Bitter water will rise to the surface of the eggplant; blot that water with more paper towels. This will make for much tastier eggplant.

2. Heat about an inch of oil in a deep frying pan and fry eggplant slices slowly until brown on both sides. Lift out with Chinese spider (mesh metal spoon) and put in a dry bowl.

3. Mix with remaining ingredients; serve warm.

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