Finally the famous Indonesian Eggplant with Chili makes its debut here. It is everybody’s favorite vegetabledish. Sweet and sour with a very hot note complement the soft and spongy eggplant.

The recipe for chili that goes with the eggplant can be used as base for everything else. Grill some chicken, beef or seafood and stir-fry those in the chili paste in a hot wok. Serve those with steamed rice. In our country, you are not really eating if you don’t sweat your body liquid out. The best formula to get that much anticipated sweat is with a dose of good chili. And great chili paste (or sambal) is prepared from grinding chilies, shallots, and garlic, seasoned with palm sugar, salt and tamarind pulp juice.

Get sambal up and sweat it up.

Get a couple of nice and purple eggplants.

Spices used are as simple as chilies, shallots, garlic, tamarind pulp and palm sugar (gula merah).

Grind chili, shallot, garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle.

The paste should be rather coarse to get that irresistable texture. If you are not that hot for sweaty heat in your food, get rid of the chili seeds before grinding.

Halve the eggplants and cut them into 5cm length.

Fry them on hot oil. Grill them slightly if you are not friend of oil. Pan-fry is also a great way to cook them.

Extra heat will bring out the color. Beware not to overcook them.

Stir-fry chili paste in a little bit of oil.

The chili should absorb the oil and with longer stir-frying, it would turn into deep red shade.

Pour mixture of tamarind pulp with water on to the wok.

Add palm sugar. Alternatively, you can use kecap manis.

Let simmer slightly so all the spices blend and the chili paste marinades by tamarind juice and melt the sugar.

Wait till it boils slightly.

Toss in cooked eggplant.

Mix well and remove from heat. Serve with warm rice.


Eggplant with Chili, Sambal Terong

Makes 4-6 servings


25 g red chilies
6 / 50 g shallots
4 / 20 g garlic cloves
1 tsp salt
10 g tamarind pulp, diluted with 2 cups warm water
20 g palm sugar (or gula merah)
2 / 500 g eggplants, halved
1/2 cup cooking oil


Grind chilies, shallots, salt and garlic in a mortar and pestle to coarse chili paste.
Heat half cooking oil in a wok, stir-fry eggplant pieces for one minute over medium heat. Remove from wok and drain on paper towel.
Heat the rest of the oil. Stir fry chili paste till fragrant, about 2 minutes, over medium heat.
Add tamarind mixture and palm sugar. Let boil, for a couple of minutes.
Toss in eggplants. Mix well and cook for another minute.
Remove from heat and serve with warm steamed rice.

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23 Responses to “Eggplant with Chili, Sambal Terong”

  1. 1

    Quay Po Cooks — March 9, 2011 @ 9:02 am

    Awesome step by step picture instruction! Fantastic photos!

  2. 2

    Shyn Yee — March 9, 2011 @ 10:24 am

    This is FANTABULOUS!!! I’ve been wanting to cook something like this for the longest time, and your sambal looks kick ass authentic. I’m sharing your link on my blog, and gonna try out this recipe pronto!

  3. 3

    a frog in the cottage — March 9, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

    eggplant & chili !!! my favorite !!

  4. 4

    vincent — March 9, 2011 @ 2:42 pm


    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it – great recipes YUM YUM.
    We would like to add it to the

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  5. 5

    mycookinghut — March 9, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

    OMG! I love this dish. The chilli alone is making me craving for it!

  6. 6

    Maria @ Scandifoodie — March 9, 2011 @ 6:09 pm

    I simply love the deep purple colour of eggplants. What a gorgeous dish!

  7. 7

    Min {Honest Vanilla} — March 9, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

    Oh yummy! Love the vividness of each step and especially the traditional pestal and mortar :) I think I like the sambal more in this dish than the egg plant. Nom nom~

  8. 8

    Umm Mymoonah — March 10, 2011 @ 1:38 am

    Oh My my ! Those pictures are lovely, love the precision and your style. I love the chilli eggplant.

  9. 9

    YenYen — March 10, 2011 @ 6:24 am

    My favorite!!!!!

  10. 10

    daphne — March 10, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

    Oh now I love eggplant. What rustic and traditional way of doing it as well with the pounding. I’m glad i stumble to your blog. It’s delicious!

  11. 11

    noobcook — March 11, 2011 @ 12:15 am

    these eggplants look hot and fiery – I like!!

  12. 12

    Helena — March 11, 2011 @ 8:48 am

    So glad that I found your blog. I really want to learn about different kinds of food that I don’t know yet :)

  13. 13

    Karen — March 11, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

    I LOVE eggplants. mixture of heat and sweet and sour sounds perfect!

  14. 14

    Megan — March 12, 2011 @ 8:38 am

    Just seeing all of those red chilies makes me fall in love with this dish! I have never been very good at cooking an eggplant that is extra yummy, but this looks too delicious. I will have to give it a try, might have to be my “go-to” eggplant recipe.

  15. 15

    Alli — March 13, 2011 @ 3:11 am

    Beautiful step by step photos, the dish looks delicious.

  16. 16

    Indrahalim — March 13, 2011 @ 3:16 am

    Salam kenal rinaaa….rina di medan tak ? aku food blogger medan nih :) .salam kenal aja.. :)

  17. 17

    Shirley@kokken69 — March 13, 2011 @ 4:47 am

    Absolutely mouth watering! I wish I can have it with a bowl of white rice now!

  18. 18

    Rolf — November 28, 2011 @ 4:31 am

    I was able to buy this stuff in a Indonesian toko in Holland but I was not able to reproduce it. Thanks a lot for sharing this recepy. It tastes perfect. In my opinion it’s the only right recepy on internet.(believe me I searched a lot on Dutch, English and Indonesian websites)

  19. 19

    sherie @ maameemoomoo — April 12, 2014 @ 7:53 pm

    Babe, we just made this yesterday. Your recipes are godsent!! Love this sambal eggplant to bits. So spicy so good!! Also made your karipap.. omg. I must say it’s probably the best karipap everrrr.. thanks for your lovely recipes!! ♡

    • Jun replied: — April 14th, 2014 @ 12:51 am

      So happy to hear that! Thanks dear

  20. 20

    Nazneen — April 28, 2014 @ 1:58 am

    This is the best one I have ever found on websites. Infact, my mother in law is impressed by me after having a dinner with sambas terung. Thank you very much for sharing such a yummy recipe.

  21. 21

    Indochine Kitchen – Cereal Prawn | Wok & Bowl — October 21, 2014 @ 8:58 pm

    [...] for more inspirations – check out a month of cone shaped foods, colorful crab fried rice, eggplant with chilli, and stuffed tofu, to name a [...]

  22. 22

    Tedy Merriman — April 17, 2015 @ 7:39 pm

    pagri/pajri terung !. Love this food

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