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Thursday, February 25, 2016

SAMBAL - A MALAYSIAN DISH


SAMBAL (Hot paste) is sauce typically made from a variety of chili peppers and secondary ingredients such as shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic,ginger, shallot, scallion, sugar, lime juice, and rice vinegar or other vinegars. Sambal ia a popular dishes in Malaysia and considered as a traditional food. Yhere are various recipes of sambals usually are served as hot and spicy condiments for dishes such as ikan bakar (grilled fish), ikan goreng (fried fish), ayam goreng (fried chicken) soto and others. Sambal also eaten by Indonesian and acalled as sambel. Traditional sambals are freshly made using traditional tools, such as a stone pestle and mortar. Sambal can be served raw or cooked. The chili pepper, garlic, shallot and tomato are often freshly ground using a mortar, while the terasi or belacan (shrimp paste) is fried or burned first to kill its pungent smell as well as to release its aroma. Sambal might be prepared in bulk, as it can be easily stored in a well-sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for a week to be served with meals as a condiment.

However from my observation, some households and restaurants insist on making freshly-prepared sambal just a few moments prior to consuming in order to ensure its freshness and flavor; this is known as sambal Belacan. Most resttaurants the  sambal is prepared daily in bulk and offered as a hot and spicy condiment. For modern society, today some brands of sambal are prepared and prepacked for instant use or ready-to-use. Most of various sambal  are available in the restaurants or local food stall for local people. Some prepared sambal also found at traditional markets, supermarkets and convenience stores. Most are bottled sambal in which a few brands available in plastic or aluminum sachet packaging. Compared to traditional sambal I found that the bottled instant sambals often have a finer texture, more homogenous content and thicker consistency, like tomato ketchup,. This occurance are due to the machine-driven manufacturing process. Traditionally made sambals ground in a pestle and mortar usually have a coarse texture and consistency. For me sambal are the daily meals in various preparation.
 
For Malaysian Sambal Belacan are the most popular dishes compared to other sambals. This is a Malay style sambal. Fresh chilis are pounded together with toasted shrimp paste (belacan) in a stone mortar to which sugar and lime juice are added. Originally, limau kesturi or calamansi lime, is used but since this is scarce outside of Southeast Asia, normal lime is used as a replacement. Tomatoes are optional ingredients. Sometimes, sweet sour mangoes or equivalent local fruits are also used. It can be eaten with cucumbers or ulam (leafy herbs) in a meal of rice and other dishes. A Malaysian-Chinese version is to fry belacan with chili. The other popular sambal in Malaysia are Sambal Jeruk Green or red pepper with kaffir lime. In Malaysia, it is called cili (chili) jeruk (pickle). Sometimes vinegar and sugar are substituted for the lime. Used as a condiment with fried rice and noodle based dishes.

Sambal Tempoyak are the sambal with durian paste (Durio zibethinus). This sambal exists in two varieties eirther in raw and cooked. Raw sambal tempoyak is prepared from fresh chilis pounded together with dried anchovies and served with fermented durian (tempoyak). The sambal and the tempoyak may be readily mixed or served separately, so that the person eating can determine the ratio of sambal to tempoyak that they want (tempoyak has a sweet-sour taste that offsets the hotness of the chili). In the cooked variety, pounded chilis, shallots and lemongrass are stir-fried with anchovies, tempoyak and turmeric leaf (for aroma). Commonly found in Pahang and Perak of Peninsular Malaysia, sambal tempoyak could be found also at Sumatra. Petai (Parkia speciosa) and tapioca shoots are also frequently added. Ikan Patin Masak Tempoyak are the most popular dish in Pahang eaten with rice. SAMBAL are the best food for Malaysian until today. Thanks!.
 
By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Taman Cendana,
Bandar Melaka,
Malaysia.
(15 JamadilAwal 1437H)
 
 

1 comment:

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