PLOW SAMBAL – SAMBAL BAJAK
Along with Chili-Shrimp Paste Sambal, this cooked sambal is the one eaten most often. The “plow” may refer to the rice, sambal and perhaps a little dried fish farmers take to the fields with them.
10 medium-length red chilies
4 roasted candlenuts or macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
3 cloves garlic
6 shallots, sliced
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon palm or dark brown sugar
Tamarind water or fresh lime juice to taste
Grind the chilies, candlenuts, shrimp paste, garlic and shallots to a rough paste. Heat the oil in a wok, fry the paste until soft, and add the sugar, salt, tamarind water to taste and a dash of plain water. Reduce the heat and simmer for a few minutes. Turn the heat up to medium-high and stir-fry until all the water has evaporated and the spices are brown. Cool before serving.