Thursday, October 24, 2013

Simple Malay Sambal

Hello everybody! Thanks to Meg's Omma for adding me into this tight, lovely and warm group. I'm honored. So... for my first post, I decided to share the most basic staple condiment in my household. It is called sambal. What is sambal? Sambal is a condiment made with chilies. You can add it to your rice or to a dish you’re preparing for lunch and dinner. Sambal is a staple to most Malaysians. It is so delicious and addictive; sometimes, I will eat my rice with a boiled egg, sambal and sliced cucumber (to combat spicy). There are many versions of sambal. Some people would add fried anchovies, fish paste, shrimp paste (the most popular one) or nothing. Since I’m an almost vegan, there will be no seafood ingredient added but feel free to add if you want an extra oomph.

The sambal recipe I would like to share came from a Minangkabau region. My mom’s side of family originally came from Minang, a region that is located in West Sumatera, Indonesia. It is the most original sambal.

A packet of red chillies (be careful)
½ cut of big red onion or 7 or 8 shallots (I prefer shallots because it is sweeter)
3 or 4 garlic cloves
One medium size tomato (I prefer Roma coz it is less watery)
Salt, sugar and oil

Prep time: less than 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

1. Into the food processor: chilies (cut into half), medium cut onions, garlic, cubed tomatoes and two spoon of cooking oil. Blend. The purpose of oil is to smooth out the chili seeds.

2. Stir fry the blended paste. Stir it to prevent the paste from burning. Add oil as needed. Cook the sambal until the water evaporates. Add salt to taste. Add sugar to your taste. Some people likes to add a squeezed lime or a tablespoon of vinegar to give that a sweet and sour taste. If you decided to add fish or shrimp paste, add a teaspoon along with other ingredients and blend. But if you like an overpowering taste, you can add more paste.

Some people prefer using dried instead of fresh chilies. The steps are the same except you need to soak the dried chilies into hot water first before you blend with the rest of the ingredients. 

Serve warm with rice as a condiment or add sambal to your dish. Enjoy!

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