This is a classic budget dish which a lot of Malay families turn to in times of crisis or, like in my case a few days ago, nostalgia.
Sambal is the Malay word for ground chilli. The basic sambal paste would consist of soaking dried chillies till soft and then blending it with water, onions and garlic. This basic chilli paste can then be used in a multitude of ways. Add belacan (fermented shrimp paste ubiquitous in Southeast Asia) and fry in oil to make sambal for fried noodles, asam pedas , sambal Tumis… The list is endless.
Here I’ve fried the sambal paste with oil over low heat together with lots of sliced Japanese yellow onions. Then i added a teaspoon of tamarind pulp. When it’s cooked, I added one tin of sardines in tomato sauce, a wee bit it salt and kaffir lime leaves.
Tamarind pulp can be substituted I suppose with line juice. I realise that since I will be vacationing in the States in a few months time, I’d better think like a Westerner, or someone who lives in the West. I doubt I’ll have such Southeast Asian ingredients readily available in Walmart or Target in Dallas! Oh, dear.
Anyway, this is a nice dish and it’s healthy too. I love the smell of kaffir lime leaves in a dish.