2large eggplant, peeled and quartered lengthways4duck breasts (170gm each), excess fat trimmed, skin scored90 gmseedless tamarind pulp80 gmlight palm sugar, crushed60 ml (1/4 cup)fish sauceJuice of 1 lime, or to tasteCoriander, mint, fried shallots and steamed jasmine rice, to serve
Steam eggplant in a steamer over boiling water until tender (16-20 minutes). Keep warm.
Heat a non-stick or cast-iron frying pan over medium heat, add duck skin-side down and fry until skin is golden brown and fat renders (6½-7 minutes). Turn and fry until duck is cooked to your liking (5-5½ minutes for medium rare). Drain fat (reserve for another use) and set duck aside on a warm plate covered with foil to rest for 5 minutes).
Meanwhile, place tamarind pulp in a heatproof bowl with 150ml boiling water and stand to soften (4½-5 minutes). Press tamarind into the water with your fingers to break it down, then strain, pressing on pulp to extract liquid (discard solids). Stir in palm sugar and fish sauce until sugar dissolves, then season to taste with lime.
Thickly slice duck and eggplant, transfer to plates, drizzle with tamarind dressing, scatter with herbs and fried shallots, and serve with rice.