Thai Aubergine Sates

1 1/4 pounds eggplant or 4 small
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 pinch cayenne
3 tablespoons peanut oil
Thai Peanut Sauce:
4 ounces coconut cream
4 ounces salted peanuts
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1. Cut the eggplant into thin long slices then cut each slice into 1 X 2-inch rectangles. Place the eggplant strips in a bowl and add the curry powder, ground coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and salt to taste.

2. Wet your hands and gently knead the spices into the eggplant, adding 1 teaspoon each of peanut oil and water to help work in the spice mixture. Knead again. Cover the bowl and leave for 2 hours.

3. To make the Thai Peanut Sauce, grind the peanuts coarsely (I use a clean electric coffee grinder). Add the turmeric, curry powder, and cayenne to the coconut cream and cook over a medium heat, stirring until the sauce comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add the peanuts. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Remove sauce from heat and cool.

4. Thread 8 thin metal or bamboo skewers with 4 pieces of eggplant each. The skewers enter the eggplants 2 to 3 times like a needle threading through cloth.

5. Heat the grill to high. Brush the aubergine sates with the remaining peanut oil and grill 4 inches from the heat, turning frequently, until the sates are cooked through (4-6 minutes on each side).

6. Serve 2 skewers per person, and garnish each plate with Thai Peanut Sauce.

Serves 4 as a starter

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