Serve as an accompaniment to Southeast Asian curries and rice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Indonesian shrimp paste*
2 teaspoons finely minced shallots
2 teaspoons finely minced lemongrass (the tender inner core only)
2 teaspoons palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon mango powder
water to make the sauce
1 plum tomato, minced
1 fresh red chili, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons toasted and crushed peanuts
1. Place a heavy skillet over moderately high heat, and add the shrimp paste. Dry-fry on both sides for a total of 2 minutes. Add the shallots and lemongrass, stir briefly, and place mixture in a mixing bowl.
2. Add the sugar, lime juice, and mango powder to mixture, blending well. Add just enough water to make a medium-thick sauce. Add the tomato, chili, and peanuts, and blend well. Serve immediately.
Sambal is a very confusing word in Indonesian cuisine. Its most basic meaning is something spicy and fried; more often than not, a sambal is a condiment that includes chilis and at least some fried ingredients. But there are condiment sambals that don't include fried ingredients. furthermore, condiment sambals can be almost salad like, or slightly chunky, or mostly smooth. To make matters ultimately confusing, there are also main dishes in Indonesian cuisine that are called sambals. The following sambal is a salad, sambal condiment, something like a Mexican salsa cruda. Serve it as an accompaniment to Southeast Asian curries and rice. Makes about 1/2 cup