A sambal (or sambel as in Javanese) comes in many varieties and tastes; they are piquant, spicy, chili hot … and are made from a mixture of variety of chili peppers and secondary ingredients like shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, palm sugar, lime juice, and rice or other vinegars … in myriad combinations.
This one is to die for, literally, a simple hot relish made with chilies, tomatoes, shallots and garlic.
4 big red chilies, cut into 4
3 to 4 big tomatoes, chopped
8 to 12 large-ish shallots, halved
6 pods garlic
Fry the garlic and onion in a little oil till softened. Add the chilies and stir till cooked and soft. Cool, and mash well with a mortar and pestle. (You can also blend it coarsely, but Veron assures me the taste is not the same).
To the remaining oil in the pan, add the tomato and stir till cooked and soft. Give it the mortar-pestle treatment separately.
Mix the two pastes, add salt as required.
Pix of ingredients – as always – from the web and some info on the sambel from wiki.
Veron is an ace in all dishes Indonesian and this was a particular hit with my niece, visiting from university and interested in trying out different dishes.
This one is for you, Pooj !
5 chicken drumsticks
a 2″piece of fresh ginger
a 3″ piece of fresh turmeric
a 2″ piece of galangal
1 stem of lemon grass
5 kaffir lime leaves
5 cloves garlic
4 candlenuts (or macadamia nuts)
1 tbsp coriander powder
salt and pepper
Group of turmeric roots isolated on white background
Blend all ingredients except chicken to a fine paste, ideally with no water.
Rub the paste into the chicken, add a bit of water if too dry. Marinate a while.
Boil, cool, refrigerate till required, ideally overnight.
Fry the chicken pieces the next day.
The chicken pieces, once boiled, can be stored up to a month in the fridge, after boiling and cooling.
Candlenut or aleurites moluccanus is a flowering tree in the spurge family, also known as candleberry, Indian walnut, kemiri, varnish tree, nuez de la India, buah keras, or kukui nut tree. The nut is often used cooked in Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine, where it is called kemiri in Indonesian or buah keras in Malay. On the island of Java in Indonesia, it is used to make a thick sauce that is eaten with vegetables and rice. In the Philippines, the fruit and tree are traditionally known as lumbang
Galangal, also known as Siamese ginger, is a member of the ginger family – Zingiberaceae. Its skin is smoother and paler than ginger root’s, the interior ranges from white to yellow to pink, and its flavor is stronger and more astringent.
Delish beyond belief. Now craving South Indian cuisine.
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 inch knob ginger
2 green chilies (or more, according to taste)
2 handfuls urud dhal, washed, cleaned and soaked for 6 hours or overnight in water
Grind all of the above with minimum water added, adding it judiciously and a little at a time to get a batter that is thick and not runny, yet smoothly ground.
Mix in salt
Heat oil in a wok over a medium flame. When the oil is hot, drop rounded spoonfuls into the oil and fry till a golden brown, turning them over to even the browning. This will take a few minutes as the inside of the vadas or dumplings need to be cooked as well. Perhaps about 8 minutes ?
Remove from the water, gently squeeze them till a bit dry and arrange in a dish.
Drain on absorbent paper, then soak them in warm water for about 5 minutes. This will draw out the excess oil.
Whisk yogurt and water to a thick yet runny consistency, add the remaining ingredients.
Pour over the dumplings.
Tarka with urud dal, curry leaves, asephoetida (hing) powder – a pinch, mustard seeds and dried red chili.
Remove from the heat and ad 1/2 tsp red chili powder into the hot oil.
So Mum has moved to Singapore and is being cared for. She has been very unwell and weak, and the mandate is to feed her but she is picky, picky, picky. Mealtimes, and she becomes mutinous, begins arguing, turns her face away, refuses to eat.
Vasu, her helper, has got into the cooking act and she gave me this recipe – a wonder taste enhancer – that goes well with anything, she says, it boosts flavour adding bite and piquancy to any Indian dish, vegetarian or otherwise.
So we tried Mum’s Kerala Fish Curry with cokum and she added a teaspoonful of this powder while it was cooking, and hallelujah, Mum is eating again !
Here is the recipe, with a bottle in reserve !
1/4 kg dry red chilies
1/4 kg coriander seeds (dhaniya)
100g black pepper corns
100 g cumin seeds (jeera)
100g chana dhal (split Bengal gram)
4 tsp hing (asaphoetida)
50g methi seeds (fenugreek)
100g haldi powder (turmeric)
Lightly dry roast (though Vasu says that’s not required) and blend to a fine powder. What she does insist, though, is that it be ground in an industrial grinder, like the ones available in the lanes of Chennai, but that is nigh impossible in Singapore, so the mixie it is !