Eggplant or ‘Makeua’ in Thai have originated in India and have been cultivated in southeast Asia since prehistorical times. Thais use a few cultivars that vary quite significantly and are used distinctively in different dishes, including curries, salads, fresh as side vegetables, in relishes and more.
‘Makeua Pro’ the small ‘Apple eggplant’ are ping pong ball sized eggplant that have quite a few cultivars, some of which vary in color and shape. It is common to find green, white, purple and yellow varieties. Apple eggplant are used in curries, stir-fries and are also eaten fresh as a vegetable accompanying variety of dishes and often ‘Nam Prik’ relishes.
‘Makeua Yao’ Long green eggplant are elongated with a distinct beautiful bright green color. They are similar in their features to the Chinese or Japanese long purple as well as to the Philippine green purple variety which are interchangeable if you cannot find the Thai long green ones. Long green eggplant are commonly used in salads such as ‘Yum Makeua Yau’.
‘Makeua Puwang’ Pea eggplant are almost as small as peas and grow in clusters. They have a bitter sweet taste and can be eaten fresh or cooked. They are used in curries, relishes and soups such as ‘Tom Kha’.
‘Mauek’ Hairy eggplant is also rounded and similar in size to the apple eggplant. The ripe fruits are orange in color and have distinct furry skin. This eggplant is also very unique in flavor, it is fruity and somewhat sweet and sour. ‘Mauek’ is used in special ‘Nam Prik’ relishes.