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Lemon basil sambal

One of the many things Alia loves about her Javanese roots is her deep, unwavering love for sambal. This particular one takes advantage of the sweet citrusy scent of lemon basil, which adds a floral and herby lift to the sambal.

Lemon basil sambal

by Alia Ali
Alia Ali

One of the many things Alia loves about her Javanese roots is her deep, unwavering love for sambal. This particular one takes advantage of the sweet citrusy scent of lemon basil, which adds a floral and herby lift to the sambal.

Servings: 12

Prep time: Quick

Servings: 12

Prep time: Quick

1 tbsp vegetable oil

3 large red chillies, cut in 1″ pieces

6 cili padi (more or less to taste)

4 shallots, peeled and cut in half

3 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half

½ tsp salt (more or less to taste)

1 large bunch (about 100g) lemon basil leaves and soft stems

  1. Heat up a wok or skillet over medium heat. Once the wok is hot, add the vegetable oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add in the chillies, onion, and garlic. Fry for about 5-7 minutes, or until the alliums begin to soften and turn translucent.
  2. Remove the fried ingredients from the wok straight into a food processor (or blender, or mortar and pestle). Add the salt then pulse until it becomes a roughly chopped mixture, about 10 seconds. Add in all of the lemon basil and pulse for another 10 seconds.
  3. Serve with hot white rice, fried fish or chicken, and more ulam.

Tips

  • Sambal freezes extremely well. Our favourite way to freeze sambal is by portioning them in an ice tray and freezing them overnight. Then pop out the sambal cubes and transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag. Defrost as many cubes as needed for your meal in the microwave or on the stove.
  • If you’d like to cook down your sambal further, you can return the processed mixture to the wok after step 2 and cook for about 3-5 minutes to take the raw edge off the lemon basil.
  • Add ½” cube of belacan during step 1 if you’d like to have a more savoury taste profile, although this will make it non-vegetarian.

Ingredients

1 tbsp vegetable oil

3 large red chillies, cut in 1″ pieces

6 cili padi (more or less to taste)

4 shallots, peeled and cut in half

3 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half

½ tsp salt (more or less to taste)

1 large bunch (about 100g) lemon basil leaves and soft stems

Directions

  1. Heat up a wok or skillet over medium heat. Once the wok is hot, add the vegetable oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add in the chillies, onion, and garlic. Fry for about 5-7 minutes, or until the alliums begin to soften and turn translucent.
  2. Remove the fried ingredients from the wok straight into a food processor (or blender, or mortar and pestle). Add the salt then pulse until it becomes a roughly chopped mixture, about 10 seconds. Add in all of the lemon basil and pulse for another 10 seconds.
  3. Serve with hot white rice, fried fish or chicken, and more ulam.

Tips

  • Sambal freezes extremely well. Our favourite way to freeze sambal is by portioning them in an ice tray and freezing them overnight. Then pop out the sambal cubes and transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag. Defrost as many cubes as needed for your meal in the microwave or on the stove.
  • If you’d like to cook down your sambal further, you can return the processed mixture to the wok after step 2 and cook for about 3-5 minutes to take the raw edge off the lemon basil.
  • Add ½” cube of belacan during step 1 if you’d like to have a more savoury taste profile, although this will make it non-vegetarian.

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© Copyright Periuk 2021

© Copyright Periuk 2021