Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Sambal Prawns

I spotted some curry leaves at Lewisham market and immediately purchased a bag of them. I kept seeing them in recipes, but couldn't find them for sale anywhere. But of course, once I bought them, I was stuck for ideas and couldn't find said recipes again. Typical.

Asking around, I was told that they're a good addition to any curry, and especially in tarka for dhal. However, Sambal Prawns was suggested to me by Sunflower and it instantly appealed, especially since I hadn't made anything Malaysian before.

I've used a lot of Sunflower's recipes, long before I started this blog and they've never let me down. They're always easy to follow, and extremely tasty. I urge you to give them a go. I made a couple of changes to the recipe to suit what I had in the fridge.

Sambal Prawns

Serves two

10 raw prawns (I use frozen ones, defrosted)
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 small onion, sliced
1 sprig of curry leaves, leaves taken off the stalk
3 tbsp tamarind paste, the thick kind from a jar
8 tbsp coconut milk
1 tbsp sugar
Cooking oil

Rempah (spice paste)

3 Asian shallots (the purple kind), chopped finely
2 sticks of lemongrass, tender part only, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1" piece of galangal - this freezes well, so if you see any for sale buy a lot and slice it to freeze
2 red chillies, deseeded and sliced
4 dried chillis, soaked in boiling water
2 tsp shrimp paste

Using a mini chopper or a pestle and mortar, grind the rempah ingredients into a paste. Heat about 3tbsp of oil up in the wok. Fry the curry leaves until they sizzle, and then (after opening all your windows) add the rempah. Fry for 5 minutes, and then add the onion slices. Fry until softened, and add the tamarind paste, sugar and coconut milk. Add the tomatoes and once they're heated through, add the prawns and turn the heat up to high. Stir fry until the prawns have just turned pink, and take off the heat.

Cucumber slices are suggested as garnish but I didn't have any so I used raw red pepper. I imagine the cucumber would work better as the freshness and crunch would cut through the richness of the sambal.
For my first home-cooked attempt, it was astounding. I couldn't stop eating it; it was fragrant, spicy and rich, accompanied perfectly with just plain white rice. I ate the whole two portions and then had to lie down. This happens with alarming regularity.

I must try more Malaysian food at home; do you have a favourite recipe?


poh said...

Sambal prawn is one of my favourite too.

I have endless list of Malaysian favourites:
nasi lemak with all the trimmings,
authentic Malaysian satay with sauce and all the trimmings,
penang laksa noodles, laksa lemak noodles,
kerabu mee hoon (noodle salad),
ayam kapitan (chicken curry),
sayur lodeh (mixed vegetable dish) etc….

Some recipes are already on the blog, I will post the others when I get round to making them.

Lizzie said...

Thanks poh, but when I click on your link it says I need to be invited to read your blog...

sunflower said...

oops using the wrong ID! It's me Sunflower also poh as real name

Sophie said...

Hi :),

We would like to feature your prawns on our blog and possibly our digital-recipe reader, too.

Please email sophiekiblogger@gmail.com if interested. Thanks :)


thejuggernaut said...

it may be late... but try liz too... she's good with her recipes... :3

Hengki B. P. said...

You cook sambal prawns. Of course, I like it, The menu of sambal are many kinds in my country. There are sambal bajak, sambal terasi, sambal tomat, sambal kecap (red soy bean), sambal kacang (kacang = fried peanut) for satay, barbeque, and for salad. Lizzie, your recipes are very full complete, all over the world. Sambal is hot. Do you think that English like hot sambal?