Eggplant is one of things I didn’t like as kid but grown to like growing up. I didn’t like the mushy texture and bitter tone of eggplant, at first. But now, I like it. Especially when cook spicy way with chili sambal.
In my kitchen, eggplant is not the most common vegetable to cook. Maybe because it was also the same for my mother’s kitchen. She only has one recipe where eggplant is the main ingredients. This one. So for a long time, this recipe is the only recipe I have for eggplant.
I googled “resep terong” (translated to eggplant recipe), and the images that came up mostly of eggplant with chili sambal or known as terong balado in Bahasa. Other variations are eggplant cooked in coconut milk broth and crispy fried eggplant. So, I think it’s safe to say that terong balado or chili sambal eggplant is the most popular eggplant dish in Indonesia.
This recipe is super simple. Basically, it consisted of cooked eggplant (Indonesian usually fry it) and chili sambal. The chili sambal made from chili pepper, bird eye chili pepper to bring the spiciness to next level, shallot, terasi or shrimp paste, sugar and salt. Simple, right?
I remember when I was in Germany doing exchange as student, I met a friend from Switzerland. She and I, with some other friends cooked together. I cooked fried tempeh. Naturally, I poured oil in frying pan. Because how else I can cook fried tempeh? She saw the amount of oil I put in the pan and said, “Are you crazy? That’s too much!” I was shocked, because I didn’t think it was too much at all. She told me she never deep fried anything.
So, I now know that Indonesian loves frying stuff, but people in different country might not. If you don’t like to fry stuff, you can grill the eggplant or bake it in the oven.
So this in my go to eggplant recipe. I hope you like it!