Monday, December 12, 2022

Vegetarian Devil/Debel Curry

Among the Penang Eurasian and Melaka Eurasian communities, Devil or Debel Curry, known in Melaka as Curry Debal or Cari Debal, is a popular dish. It’s a fiery curry, with loads of intense spiciness and herbs, blending influences from Portuguese, Indian, and Chinese cuisines. I picked up cooking Eurasian dishes from a generous friend in the Eurasian community, who unselfishly shared her recipes. Millions of thanks to her for also sharing her Devil/Debel Curry recipe, made from chicken or pork. I have tasted these, and being an Indian who loves pork, it's not an issue for me.

From her recipes, I created this Vegetarian Devil/Debel Curry (VEGETARIAN SPINACH MASAK LEMAK & INDONESIAN POTATO TAUCU). It holds the quintessential tastes of an authentic devil curry. I am certain you will agree once you try it. Fiery, tangy, thick, and with vegetables cooked to the right texture, Devil/Debil Curry is loved when poured generously over rice or eaten with toast.


For curry paste (blend with some water for a thick curry paste)

Dried chilies - as needed

1 lemongrass stalk

1/2 inch ginger

1/2 inch galangal

1 red onion

1 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp crushed black pepper

1 1/2 tsp coriander powder


Other ingredients

1 tomato – sliced

3 red chilies - slit

5 garlic cloves - sliced

1 red onion - sliced

2 tsp dark soy sauce

2 tsp apple vinegar

Oil - as needed

Water - as needed

Salt - to taste

Mixed veggies - as needed (okra, long beans, potato, brinjal, carrot)
Prepare the Curry Paste:
Blend dried chilies, lemongrass, ginger, galangal, red onion, black mustard seeds, crushed black pepper, and coriander powder with some water to form a thick paste.


Cook the Curry:

Heat oil in a large pot.

Sauté sliced onion and garlic until fragrant.

Add slit red chilies and stir.

Add the prepared curry paste and cook until the oil separates from the paste.


Add Vegetables:

Add sliced tomato, carrot, potato, and brinjal. Stir well.

Pour in enough water to cover the vegetables and let them cook until almost tender.

Add okra and long beans.

Stir in dark soy sauce, apple vinegar, and salt to taste.


Finish the Curry:

Cook until all the vegetables are tender and the flavors are well combined.
Turn off the heat and let the curry sit for a few minutes before serving.

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