The kind of Thai eggplant with crunchy texture and a little bitter flavour always eaten with a spicy dip or included in making some Thai spicy dishes.
A traditional Thai meal has always had a large plate of seasonal vegetables, in either raw or parboiled form, like long bean, cucumber, lettuce, etc., to eat along with nam prik or a Thai spicy dip, i.e. roasted chillies, garlic bulbs and shallots pounded to grind together with cooked meat, popularly grilled fish.
Ma kheua poh, a variety of Thai eggplant with a round shape, about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter and normally green and sometimes yellow or purple in colour, is also a popular one in eating with this nam prik. With its crunchy texture and a little bit bitter flavour, it is also a good choice of vegetables in making some Thai spicy dishes.
Phad phed, a popular spicy dish made by stir-frying meat, popularly pork, beef or chicken, with curry paste. This round eggplant, halved lengthwise and then cut into thin disks, is the most popular choice of a vegetable added to this menu.
In making kaeng phed (red curry) and kaeng kheow whan (green curry), this round eggplant is also the most popular choice to use besides long bean, pea eggplant, coconut heart and pumpkin. It is often quartered and added after the meat is fully cooked.
Any kinds of eggplants are good substitutes for this.