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steel balti bowl with handles full of curry with coriander

Devil Curry by Ivan Brehm

Chef and culinary researcher Ivan Brehm, of one-Michelin-starred Nouri in Singapore, shares his recipe for a leftover Christmas dish: curry debal (devil curry, in English).

15 December, 2022
Average: 4.5 (4 votes)

serves for



For spice rempah
325g small shallots peeled
Red chillies
100g long red chilis (mild)
Cashew nuts
20g peeled ginger
20g peeled galanga
Red chillies
10-15g dried, smooth-skinned red chilies, cut to chunks and rehydrated in a small amount of warm water
Garlic cloves
4 cloves, peeled
25g lemongrass stalks, washed, dried, bashed and chunked
Brown sugar
Large pinch
½ tsp turmeric powder or 15gr of fresh peeled turmeric
For frying
Mustard seeds
1 tpbs
Grapeseed oil
220g good quality grapeseed oil (or any other neutral cooking oil)
30g, sliced thinly
Red onion
1 large red onion, diced
Red chillies
1 fresh red chili, roughly diced
Green chili pepper
1 fresh green chili, roughly diced
Remaining ingredients
Chicken stock
400g, chicken stock (have a little extra just in case)
Mustard powder
½ tsp Colemans mustard powder
700g leftover Christmas roast, keep it chunky (turkey, pork belly, roast chicken)
200g cooked sausage of your preference
2 large size red skin potato, cut into large cubes
Quail eggs
6-7 cooked quail eggs
Dark soy sauce
1 tbsp
White wine vinegar
30-40g white wine or sherry vinegar
Salt to taste
Chili flakes
1 tbsp Korean chili flakes
Chopped coriander
Julienne shallots

Try using up your leftover Christmas turkey with this spicy and comforting Kristang dish (with Malaccan-Portuguese origin), often served one or two days after Christmas, using as many leftovers as possible (in original Kristang, ‘debal’ means ‘leftover’).

Step 01

Combine all the ingredients for the rempah in a blender and blend till a uniform paste is formed.

Step 02

Pre-heat an appropriate-sized casserole dish on a high heat, add all ingredients for frying, except mustard seeds and oil. Dry-char the ingredients for 30 seconds, stirring occasionally. Add oil and allow ingredients to fry for an additional 30 seconds, managing the heat to prevent the oil from smoking. With the help of a slotted spoon or large fork, remove ingredients from pan (most of the oil will remain in the pan) - lower heat.

Step 03

Add mustard seeds, leaving them to toast in oil. Dark brown is good. Have a lid on stand-by and be careful, they will pop.

Step 04

Add pre-blended paste, stirring vigorously till all oil is incorporated. Managing the heat allows the paste to cook, on a medium/low flame, for as long as necessary till it is dark brown/red and the oil is separating from the mixture.

Step 05

 Add mustard powder and chilli flakes. Stir.

Step 06

Add dark soy. Stir.

Step 07

Add stock and potatoes. Cook and reduce by 1/3. Add vinegar to taste. It should be super spicy and very tart.

Step 08

Add roast meats, sausage and eggs. Check for consistency. The meats will absorb some liquid so if things look dry at this stage, add a touch more stock. Turn the heat off and allow flavours to meld and blend for at least 2 hours.


Step 09

Reheat, adjust seasoning with salt and vinegar, and enjoy.



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