Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sambal cabe hijau

Ground up steamed green chillies

I feel that this recipe may not be suitable for blogging, but I've decided to share it with you all anyway because I think chili is too too underrated. So, for the love of chili this is my recipe for sambel cabe hijau (green chilli sambal) which you could use simply as a chutney or accompaniment to raw vegetables (lalapan) or you could make it as a base to another dish like grilled fish, fried chicken or stewed beef. You will notice that I use the word "roughly" a lot in this recipe and I really think that the roughness of it imparts a free-spirited complexity that complete the identity of this sambal or any sambal for that matter. That said, it doesn't only make an awesome sidekick to another dish, but served on its own with steamed rice, it makes a kick-ass dish of its own. :D It certainly rocks my world.

Green chilies give out an aroma distinct from their ripe siblings, red chillies

To make the Midnight Bakery's Sambel Cabe Hijau, you'll need:
  • 400 g of green chilli
  • 150 g of shallots
  • a handful of dried Asian anchovies (available at supermarkets or Asian grocer)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

Cut to the length of finger segments before grinding

First wash and remove stems from green chili and steam for roughly 15 minutes. Meanwhile, soak up the anchovies in hot boiling water and leave on the side. Chop up the shallots roughly and pound using a mortar and pestle. A food processor will not serve this purpose. You really need to bruise these guys and you don't need to grind them to pulp, you'll want some bits and pieces to stick out from them.

Shallow fry rehydrated anchovies

Once the 15 minutes are up, drain the chili and cut roughly to the size of the segments on your fingers. Grind in the mortar and pestle. Drain anchovies and heat about 1/3 cup of vegetable oil in a wok or pan. Shallow fry the anchovies and remove from pan. Next with the remaining oil, shallow fry the shallots until it's fragrant. Add the ground chilli and mix. Add the anchovies. Season with sugar and salt and lime juice. Simmer for another half an hour on low heat. It's best to allow the flavor to develop further overnight before serving.

Simmer the chilli for 30 minutes before serving

You can double the recipe by doubling up on all the ingredients. I like to make double the recipe so I have enough to keep myself happy for a week. If you like your chili hot, I suggest adding jalapeno that you find in jars in supermarkets. Grab a handful and rinse out the vinegar before adding to this happy family while simmering.


Chloe Louisa said...

For the love of chilli, thank you so much for sharing! I think this recipe is perfect for blogging :-) I've recently returned home (UK) from Indonesia having spent almost 5 years there and my mouth is crying out for some nasi padang! Can't wait to try this recipe and will have a look at your other recipes too. Keep 'em coming!

Ernie Yulyaningsih said...

Hi Chloe,

Thanks for your comment. Green chilli sambal is the bomb, without it nasi padang isn’t complete. I’ve recently discovered that adding keffir lime leaves to this while simmering makes it even more potently flavourful. I hope you’ve had a chance to try it out and let me know if you have any further questions. :)