Malay-Style Eggplant Curry (Pajeri Terung)

Updated on December 29, 2019
lizmalay profile image

I grew up in Malaysia, where I enjoyed cooking and eating local dishes every day.

Malay-style eggplant curry
Malay-style eggplant curry

Eggplant Curry Is an Easy Home-Cooked Meal

When I was growing up, I never missed a chance to cook with my mother. I loved spending time with her, especially in the kitchen, because I always learned so much about how to cook traditional Malay cuisine. One of the dishes I learned from her was eggplant curry, or masak pajeri terung. My mother often cooked this dish for family get-togethers.

Eggplant, or aubergine, is a very popular vegetable that is often used as a substitute for meat in vegan and vegetarian cuisine. On its own, eggplant has a bit of a bitter taste, but once it's cooked the flesh absorbs the spices around it, which gives it a lovely flavor.

Before preparing this curry dish, the eggplant must be cut into chunks, rinsed, and drained. You will also need coconut milk, curry powder, curry leaves, and assorted spices. By the way, if you're not a fan of eggplant, you can substitute pineapple. I love both! Pineapple will give a sweet and sour taste to the curry. Yummy!

The other important ingredient for making this Malay-style recipe is kerisik. Kerisik is freshly grated coconut that is toasted in a pan until golden brown and then pounded to make a thick, oily paste. I suggest preparing the kerisik ahead of time so that it is ready to use when preparing the curry.

Perfect for Lunch or Dinner

Once the curry is cooked, it will make a perfect lunch or dinner when served with steamed white rice. If you have leftovers, save them in a container and store in the fridge. I love leftover curry, as the sauce will thicken over time. If I'm hungry for lunch, all I have to do is take it out and heat it up on a stove for a few minutes. I hope you will try this recipe and enjoy it as much as we do!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants, cut into chunks
  • 4 cups diluted coconut milk
  • 10-15 curry leaves
  • 2 inches ginger roots, thinly sliced
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons curry powder of your choice (mix it with some water to make a paste)
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 1 tablespoon diluted tamarind juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 shredded coconut for making kerisik (optional)

Directions

  1. To make the kerisik: Toast the shredded coconut on a pan without oil over medium heat. Toast the coconut until it turns golden brown. Grind the toasted coconut using mortar and pestle to make a thick, oily paste. You can save the extra kerisik in the fridge.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Saute the curry leaves with shallots, garlic, ginger, cinnamon stick, cardamon, star anise, and cloves. Mix well.
  4. Add the curry paste and a tablespoon of kerisik to the pan. Continue stirring for 3 minutes.
  5. Throw in the eggplant into the pan and stir.
  6. After a few minutes, add the coconut milk, stir, and let it simmer.
  7. Add the tamarind juice and salt. Don't forget to taste!
  8. Let the sauce continue simmering for another 10-15 minutes or until the eggplant is softened.
  9. Place the eggplant curry into bowls for serving.
  10. Enjoy with white steamed rice and your favorite side dishes.

Photo Tutorial

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Curry leaves, ginger, shallots, garlic, and assorted spices. Cut and wash the eggplant.Curry paste. Saute the ingredients. Add the curry paste. Let the curry powder fry for a few minutes. Throw in the eggplant. Continue stirring and let the sauce simmer. Add the salt and don't forget to taste!The eggplant curry is ready to be served. Enjoy!
Curry leaves, ginger, shallots, garlic, and assorted spices.
Curry leaves, ginger, shallots, garlic, and assorted spices.
Cut and wash the eggplant.
Cut and wash the eggplant.
Curry paste.
Curry paste.
Saute the ingredients.
Saute the ingredients.
Add the curry paste.
Add the curry paste.
Let the curry powder fry for a few minutes.
Let the curry powder fry for a few minutes.
Throw in the eggplant.
Throw in the eggplant.
Continue stirring and let the sauce simmer.
Continue stirring and let the sauce simmer.
Add the salt and don't forget to taste!
Add the salt and don't forget to taste!
The eggplant curry is ready to be served. Enjoy!
The eggplant curry is ready to be served. Enjoy!

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Liza

    Comments

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      • lizmalay profile imageAUTHOR

        Liza 

        8 months ago from USA

        Thank you, Linda. This is a great recipe that I've learned from my mother. Pineapple curry is so delicious. You should try whenever you have a chance. Thank you for stopping by!

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

        I've never thought of making curry with pineapple. I love the idea. I've never heard of kerisik before, either. Thanks for sharing the information and another great recipe.

      • lizmalay profile imageAUTHOR

        Liza 

        8 months ago from USA

        Thank you, Liz. Now, I'm drooling on this eggplant curry. Next, I will try with pineapple. Thanks for stopping by!

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        8 months ago from UK

        This looks great. I really appreciate the step by step illustrations. It makes it much easier to visualise how to make the curry.

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