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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Nasi Lemak with Prawn Sambal

Nasi lemak is said to be the national food of Malaysia. It is typically eaten for breakfast, but these days, we even have it for dinner.
Traditionally, this comes as a platter of food wrapped in banana leaf, with cucumber slices, dried anchovies (ikan bilis), roasted peanuts, hard boiled egg, and hot spicy sauce (sambal) at its core.
So, here I present you nasi lemak, a truly Malaysia dish. I replaced the usual sambal with prawn sambal. and the hard boiled eggs with fried eggs.


Coconut milk rice:
Rice - 2 cups
Screwpine leaves (tie into knots) - 3
Ginger (grated) - 1 tsp
Coconut milk
Some water
Salt to taste

Prawn sambal:
Prawns - 15-20
Dried chillies - 8-10
Red onion - 1
Garlic (crushed) - 1 clove
Shallots -3
Carrot - 1/4
Tomato - 1
Belacan (prawn paste) - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste

Other ingredients:
Dried anchovies
Cucumber (sliced) -1

Rinse the rice and drain. Add the coconut milk, grated ginger, a pinch of salt, and some water. Add the pandan leaves into the rice and cook your rice.

Fry the anchovies until they turn light brown and put aside.
Roast the peanuts and cut the cucumber into slices.

For the prawn sambal, blend half of the red onion, shallots, garlic, carrot (I use a little carrot because it gives a nice colour to the sambal), prawn paste and deseeded dried chilies with a food processor. You can also use a mortal and pestle. The latter gives a better texture and taste.
Slice thinly the remaining red onion into rings.
Heat some oil in a pan and fry the spice paste until fragrant. Add in the onion rings and then the tomatoes. Alternatively you may also use tamarind paste instead of the tomatoes.
Put in the prawns and give it a good stir. Add in salt, and sugar.
Simmer on low heat until the gravy thickens. Set aside.

Dish up the rice with some prawn sambal. Serve with fried eggs, cucumber slices, fried anchovies and roasted peanuts.

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