Eggplant in a Thai Green Curry

This fantastic Thai green curry recipe features eggplant and red pepper (carrots make a great substitute if these are not in season).  You can add cauliflower, zucchini, beans...really any other stir fry vegetables you have in the fridge.  The homemade green curry paste is what makes this dish such a lovely combination of distinct flavours, so don't be tempted to substitute the store-bought variety. Top the curry with fresh basil.
1 can good-quality coconut milk
3 Asian eggplant (the long thin ones), sliced diagonally into 1cm thick rounds
1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup fresh Thai or sweet basil
1/2 cup stock (I use chicken)

Green Curry Paste 3 stalk fresh lemongrass, minced 250 grams green chilies, sliced (if you can't find Thai chilies, jalapeno will work) 1 shallot, sliced OR 1/4 cup diced red onion 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped 1/4 cup of fresh galangal OR fresh ginger, sliced approx. 1 cup chopped fresh coriander/cilantro, leaves & stems 1/8 cup coriander seeds, roasted and ground 1 tbsp cumin seeds, roasted and ground 1/2 tsp whole white pepper, ground 2-3 tbsp fish sauce 1 tsp shrimp paste 1 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar 1 tbsp lime juice

Method 1. Place all 'Green Curry Paste' ingredients together in a food processor, blender, chopper, or pestle & mortar. Add up to 1/4 can of the coconut milk, enough to help blend ingredients (reserve the rest for later). Process (or pound) well to create an aromatic Thai green curry paste. If you don't have a food processor or chopper: try using a blender, or finely mince all ingredients by hand and stir together well. 2. Heat a wok or deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2-3 Tbsp. oil and swirl around, then add the green curry paste. Stir-fry briefly to release the fragrance (1 minute), then add the vegetables which take the longest to cook like carrots and cauliflower. Stir for 2 minutes coating with spices. 3. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Stir and reduce heat to medium or medium-low. Simmer 6-10 minutes (until the carrots start to tender). 4. Set aside 1/4 cup coconut milk, reserving it for use later (the thick cream is best). Add the rest of the coconut milk to the curry, plus the eggplant and beans (if using). Stir everything together, cover, and simmer another 7-8 minutes, or until eggplant is tender enough to pierce with a fork. 5. Add the bell pepper. Cover and simmer another 2-3 minutes, or until everything is well cooked. 6. Remove from heat and gently stir in the 1/4 cup reserved coconut milk. Taste-test, adding more fish sauce if not salty or flavorful enough. Add more lime juice if too salty or sweet for your taste. Add more sugar if not sweet enough. More chili can also be added. 7. Serve with a generous amount of fresh basil and or more coriander.