Terasi (dried shrimp paste) usually lies in the background in Indonesian cooking, adding an undetectable savoury note that brings other flavours into sharp focus. Like fish sauce, the smell is pungent and not to everyone’s taste, but in combination it works its magic and can become addictive. Here is a dish for terasi’s admirers, where it takes on a starring role alongside silky stir-fried aubergine (eggplant).
In a frying pan over a high heat, add half the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When hot, add the rounds of aubergine in a single layer, cooking in batches if necessary. Cook for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until the skin is wrinkled and the flesh is golden and tender. Set the aubergine aside.
To prepare the bumbu spice paste, roughly chop all the ingredients and crush to a rough paste with a good pinch of salt using a pestle and mortar, food processor or high-speed blender.
Return the frying pan to medium heat and add the remaining
Serve with a verdant scattering of coriander leaves.
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