Smoked ham is an ingredient rarely found in Asia beyond China and the Philippines. It appears in Malaysia and Singapore due to the European input of the Cristang cuisine and is enjoyed widely by many who venture into the Eurasian restaurants in Malacca and Singapore. It's a delicious dish and a great variation from the normal South East Asian cuisine.

  • 1½ kg (3 lb) Smoked ham hocks
  • 5 Tbsp Kurma Powder
  • 1-2 Tbsp, chillie powder (variable)
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • 3-4 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 can 400 ml  (13.66 fl oz)coconut milk, mixed with 2 cups of water
  • 3 Japanese eggplants, each cut into 4-6 pieces (or any other small or medium eggplants)
  • 2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • Salt
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2.5 cm (1 in) fresh ginger, sliced
  • 8-10 dried chillies, reconstituted in hot water, say 10 to 30 minutes
  1. Using a mortar & pestle or blender, grind onion, garlic, ginger, softened dried red chillies, or chillie paste into a paste.
  2. In a small bowl, combine meat curry powder and chillie powder, add a few Tbsp of water and mix into a thick paste.
  3. Heat wok or pot on high, add vegetable oil, stir-fry till quite toasted.
  4. Add curry paste, reduce heat to low, stir-fry until quite toasted and oil starts to just appear on the top or edges of the paste Add smoked ham hocks, stir-fry 2-3 minutes to coat.
  5. Add 1 can coconut milk with 2 cups of water.
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer covered until the hocks are tender, about 1 hr, stir occasionally.
  7. When hocks are tender, add eggplants and tomatoes.
  8. Simmer uncovered until eggplants are cooked.
  9. Turn off heat, when slightly cool, skim and discard excess oil from the surface.
Serve with steamed rice or baguette.