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Digest 2 Authentic Kristang Recipes From The Majestic Malacca

2 Authentic Kristang Recipes From The Majestic Malacca

2 Authentic Kristang Recipes From The Majestic Malacca
By Samantha Lim
By Samantha Lim
March 21, 2019
Supplied by The Majestic Malacca's specialists in Kristang cuisine, these recipes for kari debal (Devil's Curry) and soy limang terung (eggplant with lime sauce) hark back to 500 years ago, following the intermarriage between Portuguese settlers and natives of Malacca.

Never Heard Of Kristang Cuisine? 

Where multiracial groups in Malaysia are concerned, there's good reason why the Kristangs are less visible than the Peranakans and the Mamaks. The former rarely venture outside of Malacca, and those who do chose to migrate overseas. With the exception of Chef Melba Nunis Victor, award winning cookbook author and owner of Simply Mel's (now defunct), there are few proponents of the Eurasian cuisine, and even fewer avenues for their food to fan out. Hence the importance of eating and cooking Kristang cuisine.

As far as we know, The Majestic Malacca is the only hotel equipped with a Kristang kitchen; its chefs also keep the flame of Kristang cuisine alive by leading cooking classes. Simply choose two recipes served at The Mansion, The Majestic Malacca's all-day dining restaurant, and sign up for the Kristang Culinary Journey, a YTL Hotels Experience.

Below are two Kristang recipes you could learn hands-on:

1/2 Kari Debal (Devil's Curry)

Kari Debal (Devil's Curry). Photo: iStock.
Kari Debal (Devil's Curry). Photo: iStock.

Serves 3 pax


Part A

  • 600 grams chicken (alternatives: squid or pork)
  • 1.5 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 5 tbsp vinegar
  • 250 ml cooking oil
  • 300 ml water

Part B

  • 2-3 potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 5 cm knob ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 2 red chillies, sliced at a slant

Part C (Combine in a blender or pound using a pestle & mortar)

  • 20 g dried chillies, roughly chopped & soaked in warm water
  • 120 g shallots
  • 25g galangal
  • 20g ginger
  • 30g lemon grass (remove outer layer)
  • 1 nutmeg (break open by using the side of a knife)
  • 6 candle nut
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tbsp cloves
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 125 ml water


  1. Heat oil in a wok or a non-stick pan. Sauté ingredients C over a medium heat until the mixture changes from orange to the colour of clay; it should take on the texture of a dry rendang. Remove and strain in a colander. Reserve the remaining oil.
  2. In the same wok or pan, fry ingredients B over a low heat until fragrant.
  3. Combine parts A, B and C except for the water. Coat the chicken pieces evenly and allow to simmer over a low flame for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add water, cover and continue cooking over a low flame until the chicken and potatoes are thoroughly cooked.
  5. Transfer to a serving plate and serve with steamed rice or bread.

*Note: Kari Debal's flavours intensify over time, so prepare the dish a day or two ahead of serving. Once cool, the curry can be stored in a container and refrigerated.

2/2 Soy Limang Terung (Eggplant with Lime Sauce)

Soy Limang Terung (Eggplant with Lime Sauce). Photo: Courtesy of The Majestic Malacca.
Soy Limang Terung (Eggplant with Lime Sauce). Photo: Courtesy of The Majestic Malacca.

Serves 3 pax


Part A

  • 2 medium-sized eggplants
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Oil for frying

Part B

  • 100 grams yellow onions, peeled & sliced)
  • 2 pieces red chillies, sliced)
  • 175 ml water
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1½ tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice


  • Chopped spring onions
  • Sliced red chillies


  1. Slice eggplants lengthwise and score the white flesh with a crisscross pattern. Season with ingredients in part A and fry in oil until soft and golden brown. Set aside.
  2. Fry onion and chillies first for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients in part B and bring to a boil.
  3. Fry eggplant slices, skinside down first. Flip over and fry the white flesh.
  4. Pour sauce over the eggplant slices. Garnish and serve hot.

The Kristang Culinary Journey is inclusive of a tour to a local market, ground transportation, light refreshments, an apron and a head scarf, a cooking class, and lunch. Participants will receive a culinary certificate upon completion of the class. Children aged 12 and below may attend for free if accompanying a full paying adult (RM380 per pax).


Digest recipe majestic malacca ytl hotels kristang cuisine


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