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Simple Curry Base (w/Eggplant Adaptation!)

Adapted from Delicious magazine

Earlier this week, I shared how the creative process of a meal can be simplified.

Today, I’d love to share a great curry base that I frequently use. Not only does it keep really well, it also acts as a great starting point for any vegetable or protein that can be added later on.

Growing up in Indonesia, curries and other delicious sauce-based foods were staple dishes. The best part was having extra sauce at the end of a meal to “soak up” with an extra serving of fluffy white rice. Admittedly, that’s still the highlight of a curry meal for me!

While this recipe does have quite a few ingredients, it takes minimal effort to prepare and keeps for up to a week in the fridge and forever in the freezer so it’s definitely worth the effort.

Make sure to scroll down to the bottom to check out my eggplant take on it!

(PS – don’t forget the rice!)


1 tbs vegetable oil

5 shallots, roughly chopped

5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 knob of ginger, grated (about 2 tbsp)

1.5 tsp curry powder

2 x 400 ml tins coconut milk

3 red chillies, roughly chopped*

1 tbs galangal paste/ freshly grated galangal

1 large lemongrass stalk, bruised

1 large cinnamon stick

250 ml vegetable stock

Juice of 2 limes

2 tbs tamarind paste**

*deseeded if you prefer less heat, or omit completely if you don’t want any heat

**add more lime juice to taste if you can’t find this


  1. Put the oil, shallots, garlic, ginger, curry paste, chillies, galangal and 100 ml of coconut milk in a blender to form a smooth paste.

  2. Fry paste in a large pan on high heat for about 3 minutes until fragrant and the oil begins to separate from the rest of the paste.

  3. Add the lemongrass and cinnamon stick and season generously.

  4. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes.

  5. Reduce heat and add the remaining coconut milk and stock.

  6. Cover with lid and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

  7. Stir in the lime juice and tamarind paste, and check seasoning.

  8. Enjoy immediately as a curry base or store in the fridge/freezer for later.

Eggplant Adaption 

  1. Roughly chop an onion, 2 medium potatoes, and 1 large eggplant.

  2. Place the eggplant on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and season with salt.

  3. Pop into the oven at 180 degrees C for about 20-25 minutes or until it’s softened and its skin wrinkled.

  4. Using a portion of the curry base above, simmer the onion, potato and eggplant until the potato is tender.

  5.  Add about ½ cup of water to the curry base. This will simmer away as the vegetables cook. 

  6. Enjoy! 


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