Posted in Spicery

Spice Blend: Sambal Belacan

In a previous post featuring an Indonesian spice blend called Sambal Terasi I noted that one of the ingredients, a dried shrimp paste called Terasi, is also known on Malaysia as ‘Belacan’. Not unnaturally,  Malaysia has a preparation similar to Sambal Terasi called Sambal Belacan, and, as with the Indonesian variety, there is a great deal of diversity in the constituent ingredients and the methods of preparation.

My Sambal Terasi interpretation was a simple, raw (and fiery) preparation that cleaved to the basics, but today, I want to try something a little more complex. Last year, my wife brought home from Singapore a jar of a commercial paste called ‘Sambal Belecan’ and I enjoyed it so immensely that it was used up in no time at all. I am hoping, with this experiment, to try and reproduce the taste… Continue reading “Spice Blend: Sambal Belacan”

Posted in Spicery

Spice Blend: Sambal Terasi

Not long ago, I published a foodstuffs post about a Dried Shrimp Paste widely used in the cuisines of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. In Indonesia, the dried paste is known as ‘Terasi’ and it is commonly included in a variety of chili based culinary blends known as Sambals. These preparations are widely used as condiments but are also incorporated into curries and other dishes.

The very basic Sambal Terasi is just a raw paste consisting of fresh red chilies ground to a paste with salt and dried shrimp paste. However, there are many variations on the basic theme and some preparations are cooked. Additional ingredients can include garlic, shallots, onions, sugar, tomatoes and a variety of nuts such as Candlenuts or Macadamias and, in cooked versions, the ingredients can be fried after being ground to a paste, or else cooked individually beforehand and then ground together. For this experiment I am going to cleave fairly close to the original in terms of ingredients and leave it raw… Continue reading “Spice Blend: Sambal Terasi”

Posted in Experiments, Recipes

Prawn Curry

Back when I was 8 or 9 years old, my father took me to an Indian restaurant in London and I remember having a curry of giant prawns in a lovely hot curry sauce. Even now, over 40 years later I can still recall the taste of it quite vividly and have tried many times over the years to duplicate it. As I mentioned in my ‘Foodstuff’s’ post featuring Patak’s Hot Curry Paste, it was only using this very nice Masala that I was ever able to come close to that delicious taste I remember from all those years ago. Patak’s has changed the makeup of their paste a couple of times since I first used it (in fact, I currently have two jars that are clearly made using a different recipes), so I will be interested to see how the newest variety works in this experiment… Continue reading “Prawn Curry”