Besengek with eggs


We are in the mood for something vegetarian. It had to be full of flavor and not a vegetable dish. Voilà, see here Beb Vuyk’s curry egg dish: Besengek with Eggs. A besengek is a curry sauce with coconut milk.

Leave out the trassi (shrimp paste) if you want to keep it 100% vegetarian.

The eggs are bathing in a creamy sauce. It’s delicious. The sauce is rich and you can make it as spicy as you want to. We eat it our besengek with eggs with pandan rice and sweet carrots.

This dish is ready in 20 minutes and good for 4 people (one egg each, but you probably want more).

Besengek Eggs #323 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page 152


4 eggs
2 tablespoons oil
1/8 block santen

Herbs and spices

2 cups water or broth
3 tablespoons chopped onions
1 chopped garlic clove
1 teaspoon sambal terasi (shrimp paste)
1 teaspoon white sugar
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon galangal powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric/kurkuma
2 puffed kemiries (candle nuts)

Boil the eggs 3 1/2 minutes, they should not be too hard. Peel them carefully. Rub onions, garlic, chilli, sugar, coriander, cumin, turmeric and galangal together with the roasted kemiries. Fry the mixture in the oil, add water or broth to it and the block santen. Sauté the eggs for 10 minutes in the sauce. Serve them covered them with the sauce.

In this besengek it’s necessary to boil eggs shortly first (3,5 minutes). The 10 minutes simmer later helps the eggs to suck in all the great spices.

Peel the eggs carefully, they are still pretty soft after 3,5 minutes in the pan.


I get kemiri paste or kemiri nuts at the grocery store ;-). It’s easy to work with kemiri-paste. Kemiries thickens the sauce like cornstarch does.

The rich smell that this dish produces is amazing. People will ask you what’s on the stove ( and you are only making an egg dish). Especially the combination of jinten (cumin) and laos (galangal) makes this a real Indo curry.

Beb Vuyk, best known for her Groot Indonesisch Kookboek (Great Indonesian Cook Book), was much more than a great cook. She belongs to the most important Dutch-Indonesian (Indo) writers and journalists of her time. Check this out.

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