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Garden herbs roast chickenSeptember 27, 2014
Malaysia is a very unique country where people of many ethnic backgrounds live together, complimenting each other. We live in a country where we enjoy each other’s culture, tradition and food. We do not teach our children to tolerate one another but we teach them to LOVE one another.
I can’t think of a better way of celebrating “Hari Merdeka” than having 2nd helpings of Nasi Lemak and Teh Tarik with our neighbours and friends. We are Malaysians!
Selamat “Hari Merdeka Malaysia”
Ingredients (serves 6)
300 gm skinless peanutsÂ (toasted)
3 cucumbersÂ (peeled and sliced)
3 cups of long Basmathi rice
2 leaves of pandanÂ (knotted)
5 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
2 handfuls of cleaned dried ikan bilisÂ (local anchovies)
600 gm of fresh prawns (trimmed and deveined, shell intact)
2 handfuls of petaiÂ (halved)
2 dried cuttlefishÂ (soaked overnight in water)
Ingredients to blend
30 dried chilliÂ (seeds removed, soak in a little hot water)
20 fresh red chillisÂ (seeds removed)
5 cloves of garlicÂ (skin removed)
2 large red onionsÂ (skin removed, chopped into small bits)
rest of sambal ingredients
5 pieces of dried tamarindÂ (soaked in a little hot water)
- Toasted peanuts can be prepared ahead of time. On a baking tray, placeÂ skinless peanuts, single layer and toast in the oven marked 170 degree celsius for 12 – 15 minutes. Remove from oven, coolÂ and kept in an air-tight bottle.
- Slice cucumber and keep them cling wrapped in the fridge until time to use.
- Rinse 1 handful of dried ikan bilis and saute until golden brown in a frying pan with some olive oil. Drain on paper towels. Store in an air-tight container after they are cool.
- Rinse the Basmathi rice and add water and knotted pandan leaves into an electric rice cooker and cook. When rice is cooked, discard pandan leaves and drizzle 5 Tbsp virgin coconut oil into rice and fluff it up with a pair of Chinese chopsticks.
- While the rice is cooking, pound all the sambal ingredients together in a mortar and pestle. If hard pressed for time, just blend them all together using your trusted blender.
- Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil into a hot pan. Fry the blended ingredients together with the tamarind slices and the tamarind water. Let it simmer for 5 minutes and season with sea salt and sugar according to the taste you require. DivideÂ the cooked sambal paste into 3 portions, set aside a portion for the sambal petai prawn dish and another for cuttlefish sambal.
- Rinse the remaining 2 handfuls of dried ikan bilis with water, drained and add them into the cooked sambal paste in the pan. Pour in a cup of hot water and bring the sambal ikan bilis to simmer for 10 – 15 minutes on low heat or until the ikan bilis is softened. Set aside.
- Slice cuttlefish into small pieces. In a saucepan, heat up the other portion of cooked sambal paste, add cuttlefish and some water to bring it to a long simmer about 2 hours over gentle heat. This is to soften the cuttlefish. Set aside.
- In another frying pan, heat up the last portion of cooked sambal paste and add prawns. Stir fry on high heat until prawns are cooked through then add the petai, stir for another 3 minutes and cut off the heat. Set aside.
- Serve nasi lemak with crispy ikan bilis, sambal ikan bilis, sambal petai prawns, sambal cuttlefish, sliced cucumbers and peanuts on a banana leaf and eat using the tip of your fingers. Trust me, it tastes so much more appetizing when you eat using your hands.