Arakanese Eggplant Dip

The Rakhine people of Western Myanmar love very hot spicy food and make this dip hotter than I can handle it. Therefore, although I say the chili’s are optional, it is no longer an Arakanese dip if the chilis are not added!

serves 4

  • 5-6 Japanese eggplants
  • ½ small white onion, sliced very thin and rinsed under cold water
  • 1/4 c cold pressed peanut oil
  • 2-3 hot green or red fresh chilis (optional)

Roast the eggplants in a very hot oven until very soft. If you have a BBQ grill the eggplants over the flame until the skin is blackened and they are soft. This tastes much better if done over a grill.

Once the eggplants have cooled slightly, peel off the skin. Mash the onions with the sliced chilis in a large mortar and pestle. Add the peeled eggplant while it is still very hot and mash some more. Add oil and mash.

The heat of the eggplant will cook the onions slightly. A dash of lime juice can be added but is not necessary.

Amazing flavor from such a simple recipe. I worked at Inle Princess Resort with an Arakanese chef who gave me this recipe while filling my head with tales of Shambala.

This is great with crackers or chips or makes a nice side dish for rice.

This recipe is part of the Pennywise Platter over at

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Moushumi

    Sorry meant to ask for an email reply but hit submit too soon.
    Was asking for a rakhine mohndee recipe if you have one please.
    Thank you so much!

  2. Moushumi

    Do you have a good recipe for rakhine mohndee?
    It’s the rakhine equivalent of mohinga but clear fish soup flavoured with blue ginger (gslangal) snd pepper and a sour fresh chilli sauce. Also called ar-boo-shar-boo. Or ah-pu-shah-pu

    1. hellaD

      So sorry to reply so late to your request for recipe. A lot has been going on. I do have the recipe for you. This recipe is from Ma Thanegi’s book An Introduction to Myanmar Cuisine:

      Rakhine Monhinga — Ah Pu Shar Pu

      4 servings thin, soft rice noodles
      5 c fish stock
      500g firm-fleshed fish (Rakhine use conger eel)
      1 root galanga, lightly crushed
      1 teaspoon best shrimp paste
      6 cloves garlic, crushed
      2 Tablespoons palm or coconut oil
      1/4 t turmeric

      8 dried red chillies, seeds removed
      2 T palm or coconut oil
      8 green chilies
      2 T boiling water

      Tamarind paste
      1/4 c garlic oil
      Roasted chick pea flour
      Chopped coriander
      Black pepper
      Fish sauce


      1. Poach fish with galanga, garlic and shrip paste. Skin fish and remove bones. Continue boiling bones with galanga, garlic and shrimp paste. Sieve out bones.

      2. Gently squeeze fish flakes cheese cloth to remove remaining liquid. Heat 2 T oil with turmeric powder and fry fish, stirring until very dry and crumbly. Set aside.

      3. Soak the dried red chilies in a little hot water until soft and pound smooth. Heat 2 T oil and cook the red chili paste until oil sizzles. Set aside.

      4. Pound the green chilis and seep in 2 T boiling water. Set aside.

      To serve:
      Put a serving of noodles in a bowl and top with a generous amount of the fish crumbs, 1 t each of garlic oil, 1/2 t tamarind paste (or more to taste), chopped cilantro, and about 1/2 t fish sauce. Serve the soup seperately or in the noodles as preferred.

      If the noodles are served dry, add about 1/2 t roasted bean powder to each serving. Set out dishes of the red and green chili paste. Serve the soup after removing the galanga root and sprinkle it with lots of pepper.

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