served terong balado

How to Make Terong Balado

Welcome again to a great vegetarian recipe! Terong balado, an eggplant dish which is absolutely wonderful. Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables to use in dishes, especially when inspired by Indonesian cuisine.

To make Terong balado, simply make a sweet and spicy sauce (balado) and fry some eggplant. Combine and enjoy this amazing recipe!

What is terong balado?

Terong balado is another vegetarian dish from Indonesia, great in taste and very nice to combine with rice. Terong is translated as eggplant, balado refers to a type of chili sauce closely related to sambal.

The structure of the eggplant and the flavor of the sauce combine into a great, visually appealing dish. I use this dish very often in my cooking and I highly recommend you do too! Let’s see how to make terong balado:

Step 1: Choose the ingredients

served terong balado

Terong balado

A great side dish to serve with rice! Eggplant and sweet chili sauce for a great flavor, structure and visual effect!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indonesian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 200 kcal


  • 2 eggplants
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes
  • 70 g tomato paste
  • 3 shallots
  • 2 tsp sambal (ketumbar)


  • 2 tsp terasi
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic flakes or powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp laos powder (galangal)
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar


  • Collect the ingredients
  • Chop the ingredients
  • Fry the terong and make balado
  • Combine, serve and conserve
Keyword Terong balado

What to consider when choosing the ingredients

As you can see this is quite and extensive ingredient list for this side dish. Stay within the boundaries of using eggplants and making a sweet chili sauce. I used palm sugar and ketumbar sambal (coming soon) to implement sweet and spicy flavors and the outcome was amazing!

I want to make a thick sauce here so I use cherry tomatoes and tomato paste and only a little bit of water as a sauce base. Shallot and garlic to start the flavor palate. Give your own variation a try and use your favorite sauce and flavor base!

The sambal of course you can swap out with any sambal you like, use store bought, homemade or even skip on using sambal! Just implement fresh chillies or chili powder to implement spiciness.


I implemented quite a lot of authentic spices to make a really traditional taste palate. Terasi to add umami flavor, laos and white pepper for complexity (and to overall boost flavors). I didn’t use fresh garlic as I wanted to try out garlic flakes I bought recently, worked great!

Some salt to taste like always and palm sugar for sweetness. Palm sugar is another substitute which is highly used in Indonesian cuisine, get it in your kitchen! Let’s see how to make terong balado:

Step 2: Chop the eggplants and fry

Start by chopping the eggplants in big, bite sizes. These take quite a while to cook so start with it first. You want to use 2 frying pans to make the terong and the balado, otherwise cooking times are doubled!

Add a frying pan with a little amount of oil on high heat, once the pan is hot add the eggplant bits. Stir-fry on high heat until cooked, you will notice the bits decreased in size and released their moist. This should take about 20 minutes.

chopped eggplants
fried eggplants

At this point, add quite a bit of oil and fry the eggplants some more. Now that the eggplant is cooked, it won’t soak up any oil it sees as much as it did when uncooked. Now is the time to add oil!

Step 3: Make the balado

In the meantime, chop the shallot in half rings and half the tomatoes. Add another frying pan with a bit more oil to medium-high heat and add the shallot. Fry for a minute or two and add the tomato pieces.

fried shallots
fried shallots and tomato

Use some salt to soak up the moist that is released from the vegetables. Give some time to fry the tomato, they should start to release moist, deflate and become very creamy.

At this point, add the tomato paste, spices and a splash of water and stir well. The sauce could be quite watery at this point, you want to boil out the water so give it time (~10 min) to thicken!

watery balado
finished balado

This should nicely fit the time schedule of the eggplant frying!

Step 4: Combine, serve and conserve

Once both the terong and the balado are cooked, simply dump in the frying pan contents of one into the other. Stir well and have a taste! Add some salt if you feel like the taste is a bit dull. If done right, you should have an amazing terong balado with a really nice smooth and creamy structure, an intense flavor and a great looking dish!

terong balado

I served this dish with nasi kuning, another amazing side dish which I absolutely love! Try it out some time or combine it with this one as well. I can also recommend adding the following side dishes and sambals to accompany this recipe:

I hope you enjoyed this recipe, let me know what you made and please leave a rating!

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