Eggplants and Tomatoes

Appears in

By Phia Sing

Published 1981

  • About

Mak kheua is the general Lao name for eggplant. The elongated purple kind familiar to Europeans and Americans is known as mak kheua hamaa, but it is not grown much in Laos. What the Lao use in their cooking most often is a round eggplant, for which the general name is mak kheua poy. When fully mature, its seeds are hard and are not used. Phia Sing sometimes refers to ‘old’ eggplants, and this is what he means. We have not translated the word ‘old’, partly because to western ears it might suggest fruit that was too old for use. So a reference to a round eggplant, without any additional epithet, just means a mature one, as one would expect. There are, however, other epithets which are applied to eggplants, and these have been translated, as follows: