chapter V

when baking, follow directions.. when cooking, go by your own taste.. ~ Laiko Bahrs

made in MyKitchen | chicken sambal with brinjal

if there is anything the husband loves to have most in the morning, it has to be nasi lemak.. complete with the spicy sambal, hard-boiled or fried egg, crispy fried anchovies and peanuts, the works.. when the craving hits, he will sometimes skip the cold milk+cereal brekkie and head out for a plate of freshly cooked nasi lemak with a mug of piping hot teh tarik (pulled tea) on the way to the office..

when i prepare nasi lemak at home, i usually make the sambal a day ahead, for a better tasting sambal.. i don’t know how, but the flavors are more enhanced when the sambal has been left sitting in the fridge for a day or two.. it’s the same thing with curries and stews, where they all just taste better the next day..

preparing sambal does require patience, with the long cooking time and all.. also another reason why i like to prepare it at least a day ahead.. while it’s cooking on the stove, you can’t leave the sambal to let it cook by itself, that kinda thing.. constant stirring is needed to prevent it from getting burnt at the bottom of the pot, even when you use non-stick ones..

ingredient-wise, it’s ultimately up to the cook, which herbs and spices should go in.. as long as the main ingredients are all there, you can play around with the recipe if you wish, really.. plenty of onions and shallots, chilli paste, and belacan (dried shrimp paste) and you’re set.. you can choose to add or exclude garlic or ginger, or other wet and dry spices like lemongrass, turmeric, coriander powder, cinnamon, cloves, etc.. balance the flavors out with seasonings (salt, sugar AND a bit of tamarind pulp), and there you have it, homemade sambal ready to rock your palates~

oh, and the consistency of the sambal varies depending on the menu.. i like to make it really runny and somewhat thin to pair with nasi tomato (tomato rice) and pickled veg.. for nasi lemak, it can be either thick or a little on the runny side, but not to the point of being too watery though..

today’s recipe is a sambal dish with chicken and brinjal, which i prepared to go with nasi tomato (tomato rice).. you can add meat, seafood and veg into the sambal for variation too, if you wish.. made this way, it goes really, really well with piping hot white rice and other side dishes..

CHICKEN SAMBAL WITH BRINJAL

Ingredients :

  • chicken, cleaned and chopped into pieces

  • brinjal, roll cut into pieces

  • big onion
  • shallots
  • garlic
  • ginger

  • lemongrass, slightly crushed
  • kaffir lime leaves
  • chilli paste
  • belacan/dried shrimp paste

  • asam jawa/tamarind pulp, mixed with a bit of water to get a watery paste. discard the seeds and veins
  • black mustard seeds
  • palm sugar
  • a bit of oyster sauce
  • a bit of dark soy sauce (optional)

Method :

  • soak brinjal pieces in a bowl of water mixed with a bit of salt. this is to draw out moisture from the brinjal, so that the brinjal pieces won’t be too mushy when cooked. give them a quick rinse with clean water right before cooking

  • blitz onion, shallots, garlic, ginger and a bit of belacan/dried shrimp paste with a bit of water in a blender or food processor to a fine pulp
  • in a bowl, mix blended wet spices and chili paste. amount of chilli paste depends on how hot you prefer the sambal to be

  • heat up some oil in a wok or a pot and stir fry blended spices mix until fragrant and has separated from the oil

  • add in chicken, tamarind paste, palm sugar, sea salt, oyster sauce, lemongrass, black mustard seeds and kaffir lime leaves

  • put the lid on and let the whole mixture come to a boil
  • turn the chicken over to let them cook through on the other side
  • taste as you cook. adjust amount of seasonings. add more palm sugar or oyster sauce if needed
  • when the chicken is almost done, add in brinjal pieces and stir well

  • add in a bit of dark soy sauce for a darker color sambal (if preferred). add some water if you prefer a runny sambal
  • when the chicken is fully cooked through, turn the heat off. skim off excess oil that collects on the surface of the sambal before serving
  • serve, and enjoy

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This entry was posted on Tuesday ~ December 11, 2012 by in made in MyKitchen, poultry and tagged , , , , , .

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