I decided to do a lamb curry in order to try out the Malaysian style Sambal Belacan I featured in a recent post. Given the spirit of the dish, I have named it after Sarawak, which is a state in Malaysia. I don’t know if they actually cook anything like this there but obviously they are going to have to start now….
- ¾ lb. of fresh lamb, sliced and cut into small pieces;
- 1 small Zucchini, halved and sliced on the bias;
- 1 medium tomato, de-seeded and sliced in to strips;
- 1 small onion, cut vertically into wedges and the layers separated;
- 1 cup thick coconut milk; and,
- 4 generous tablespoons of Sambal Belacan.
First, lightly grill the zucchini slices on a barbecue or ridged pan until partly cooked and showing some nice grill marks.
Heat a tablespoon or so of cooking oil in a pan over high heat and sauté the lamb pieces until nicely browned. Add the Sambal Belacan and stir until it coats the meat and has given off its aroma. Now, add the onion and continue to stir and toss until the onion pieces are only just beginning to soften.
Add the coconut milk, the zucchini slices and the tomato and allow the mixture to come to light bubbling boil. Continue to stir and allow the milk to reduce by about a third to produce a semi-dry curry. You can now serve it immediately, or of you prefer, let it cool and keep overnight to let the flavors really develop.
The taste of this curry was, I have to say, very good indeed so I am happy with the results of my Sambal Belacan experiment. The flavors of the individual components melded together really nicely and, although it was somewhat fiery, it was not overwhelmingly so. My only quibble with the rest of the curry itself was that the contrast in color of the main ingredients wasn’t very good and the overall appearance was a little unexciting. Still, that is something that could easily be rectified and I look forward to working with the paste again…