Monday, 6 March 2006

The Food That I'd Die For # 1

We don't tend to appreciate our home when we are at home. Same goes to food from home. I realised this when I was pregnant. I was craving for only home food. Had to go thru all the hassles of searching for the recipe, looking around for the ingredients and cooking it up. Finally, I wanted to taste only a spoonfull of it. The rest, who else than my hubby who eats them up.

Now, for that past month, I have been wanting to eat prawn sambal. Normally, prawn sambal is cooked with unpeeled prawns. I do not prefer that as it is very troublesome to eat like that though cooking so retains the juices of the prawns. I like it peeled and deveined. Easier to eat. My mom adds fried potatoes to prawn sambal. I love the irresistible taste of the potatoes mixed with the juices of the prawns. In a word, the potatoes taste like prawn.

I am adapting my mom's method of adding the potatoes and I have included some kaffir lime leaves for the citrusy aroma. Also subtituted tamarind juice with lime juice for the extra tanginess. The rest are the normal vital sambal ingredients.

Prawn Sambal

What do we need:

500g prawns
2 potatoes
1/4 cup coconut milk (I used fresh milk)
2 kaffir lime leaves, sliced finely
1 tbsp lime juice

Sambal Paste:
4 dried chillies (depends to individual)
5 shallots or 1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 inch fresh turmeric (I substituted with 1 tsp of turmeric powder)
1 inch galangal or blue ginger
1 lemon grass
1/2 tsp belacan granules (shrimp paste)

How do we do it:

Sambal Paste:

Heat a little oil and fry the dried chillies until aromatic. Set aside.

Chop coarsely the onion, garlic, galangal and lemon grass. Pop them into a food processor together with the fried dried chillies, turmeric powder and the belacan granules. Grind until smooth.

Sambal Paste

Prawn Sambal:

Peel and dice the potatoes. Heat oil and fry them until golden brown. Set aside.

Meanwhile, peel and de-vein the prawns. Set aside.

Heat oil and fry the sambal paste until aromatic and the oil separates. Add prawns and lime juice. Stir in the milk and bring to a boil. Cover and cook until prawns turn red. Add the fried potatoes and kaffir lime leaves. Then, season and stir well.

Prawn Sambal with Plain Rice ad Stir Fried Broccoli and Carrot

Serve prawn sambal with hot piping rice.


BDSN said...

The picture of rice with prawn sambal is looking great.But what does sambal mean?Sorry for an ignorant question..

tony said...

Loooooookks amazing.. Mouth watering to say the least, and I am already hungry

fooDcrazEE said...

nice !

bdsn - according to wikipedia sambal is chilli paste in short or can refer to RecipeDictionary

Pushpa, i made mine by pounding the ingredient instead of grinding or blending them....i get more texture out of the ingredient then..try them out

Puspha said...

bdsn: Refer to foodcrazee's comment. Sambal is a favourite dish in Malaysia, Singapore & Indonesia. It is very spicy yet super delicious.

Tony: Welcome to my blog. This is a die for food. Y don't u try cooking it & let me know how u like it.

Mike: Thanx for the help. I'd love to pound it but ah, I don't have a batu tumbuk lah. (pestle & mortar)

spicehut said...

Looks yummy Pushpa. Sometimes I buy Sambal Olek pastes from Asian stores. Yours looks much better.

strawberry said...

i'm dying for this kinda food too.
especially when away from home like now :p

Puspha said...

spicehut: Thanx so much. Why don´t u try this recipe out.

strawberry: Faster cook it up!
Where are u from, anyway?

KrishnaArjuna said...

prawn sambal looks great! Another different way to prepare prawns. Thanks for the recipe

Puspha said...

KA: My pleasure

Manisha said...

Pushpa, my Malyasian friend (who I miss dearly because I've moved over 1000 miles away from her) used to make fantastic sambal and fish curries. She does things on auto-pilot and so it was always dificult to get recipes from her. She used to tell me to "just come over, instead!"

I don't have shrimp paste. How critical is this to your recipe? I have Thai fish oil - will that work instead?

My friend used to make her own paste by pounding dry shrimp and chillies. Her American husband would always make a face because of the smell. I am from the coastal regions of India so I had no problems with it!

Puspha said...

Hello Manisha. Welcome to my blog. Ur name is quite similar to my daughter's. Shez Mahisha :)

Shrimp paste & fish oil r 2 different ingredients. They don't have similar tastes at all. The purpose of the shrimp paste is to add extra kick to the sambal. If u can't find it, just substitute it with dried shrimps as how ur Malaysian friend does. Hope that helps.

Manisha said...

Hwy Pushpa, I missed seeing your response earlier. Thank you very much for the tip. I won't use fish oil. But I must tell you that soon after I posted here, I visited my Malaysian friend in Chicagoland and guess what I got for dinner?! Yum!

Mahisha is such a cute name! What does it mean?

Viknesh Nadaraja said...

My version of prawn sambal...

Well a lot like your except no coconut milk (or any other milk, no sugar, no tumeric... just that I add some Thai fish sause (1 tblspoon) for the aroma and taste.

My version is HOT and closer to how the malays do it.

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