This recipe requires the use of a very Malaysian ingredient called 'Belacan', also known as shrimp paste. Shrimp paste consists of tiny shrimps fermented with salt, pressed into shapes like blocks of butter or round discus pieces which are then wrapped in brown paper or vacuum packed for freshness. The smell is pungent and only a small portion is required for a single dish. Another important Malaysian ingredient here is the 'Assam' also known as tamarind paste. This paste is used to give this dish a sour tinge.