Malay, Sauces and Sambals

Sambal Ijo (Green Sambal)

I’ve been having crazy hectic weeks at work and am missing eating good food! So after work just now I decided to make this Indonesian sambal – chilli jam or chutney of sorts. It’s so versatile! Over hot rice, fried chicken (which is popular), grilled prawns… it’s really good on everything, though I’ve never really tried it with vegetables. Caution though that this is not meant as a chilli finishing oil in soupy dishes.

The ingredients are simple. I used about 15 cloves of fresh garlic, 3 Bombay onions, about 16 fresh green chillies and about 15 green bird’s eye chillies,
Wash and chop onions roughly and proceed to fry them till soft in about 6 tablespoons or so of vegetable oil. I used sunflower oil.
When the onion and garlic are soft, add the green chillies.
Fry for about 10 more minutes till everything is quite soft.
Then place all in a blender, including the oil. Blend but not too finely.
Fry the blended paste in a bit more oil. Add toasted ground belacan or fermented shrimp paste. If you don’t have this then you can simply omit this step.
Fry till the oil rises from the mixture. Season with salt, sugar and a tablespoon of distilled white vinegar. And that’s it!
Store in a jar with the oil and you can keep this in the fridge for a week. I had mine with hot plain jasmine rice and a leftover fried Jollibee chicken for my dinner.

Salads and Vegetables, Sauces and Sambals, Sides, Snack, South American/Mexican

Hot Avoacado

I love avocado spreads! And instead of buying them ready made from the supermarket (which can be soooo expensive) I’d rather make myself. Plus it’s so easy to just dump all in a mini food processor and whiz everything to a pulp.

In my version, I used three ripe avocados, half a large tomato, a tablespoon of jalapeno hot sauce I had got from London, sea salt, black pepper and half a large lemon juice.

It was delicious!

Asian Dishes, Malay, Sauces and Sambals, Seafood

Sambal Tumis Kupang

Remember the basic sambal tumis recipe? Well, if you add any protein to it, it becomes a nice side dish. Though one can also make a sambal tumis dish from scratch.

That day I had some frozen shelled mussels and decided to make a popular malay dish called sambal tumis kupang, or mussels sambal. Using the same base, once it’s nice and well cooked, I added in the already boiled and defrosted shelled mussels. I also added onions for some texture. My mommy said it was a but bland so next time I’ll add more salt to the dish. If eaten with hot coconut rice (nasi lemak) this sambal is a winner!

Asian Dishes, Malay, Sauces and Sambals

Sambal Tumis

You’re not Malay if you don’t know and don’t eat sambal tumis. Sambal is generic for any kind of chilli paste or condiment but sambal tumis is like a chilli jam. And I know that every family has their own version.

What I made yesterday was the plain sambal tumis that is just the base that is delicious eaten with nasi lemak or mixed with prawns, ikan bilis (dried anchovies), boiled eggs, etc.

I’ve always been intimidated making this because I know I can’t reach the same standards as Mom. But yesterday, I was surprised. Taste wise it was exactly like Mom’s but texture wise, it was not as smooth as I’d like it to be, and it was waaaayyy too hot! Next time, I’d reduce the number of chillies and boil the dried chillies for an hour to make them super soft. 🌶 🌶 🌶

This is tamarind water

Recipe of sorts

1. About twenty or more dried chillies, snipped and boiled till soft

2. 2-3 failry large onions

3. 3-4 garlic cloves

4. 1-2 tsp of belacan (toasted shrimp paste)

Blend till super fine. Add to hot oil and pn low heat, cook till oil appears at the top. Continue simmering till chilli paste is cooked. Add about three tablespoons of sugar, 1 tsp of salt and two tablespoons or so of tamarind water. Taste and adjust sugar, tamarind water to your preference. My preferred taste is sweet but not too sweet with a tangy taste.

Sauces and Sambals

Cranberry sauce

I bought two packets of fresh cranberries from Cold Storage intending to make cranberry sauce to go with the turkey I had ordered for lunch. I read a few recipes and decided on my own simple version:

1. 2 bags of fresh cranberries
2. 2 cinnamon sticks
3. One vanilla pod
4. 1/4 cup muscovado sugar
5. 3/4 cup caster sugar
6. Zest of one orange peel and its juice
7. Water to cover half the saucepan

The result was a lovely bright red sauce but it was still tangy. Too tangy or my liking but from the many sites I read, apparently cranberry sauce is meant to the sweet and tart. So I guess it’s perfect. The Helper tried and she said it was not too tart. Then again, I never could stand sour. If you are like me, you’d like to add another 1/4 of sugar.