Hot prawn sambal
- 500 g (1 lb) raw prawns;
- 2 teaspoons dried tamarind pulp or 3 tablespoons tamarind puree;
- 4 brown shallots or 1 onion, finely chopped;
- 3 teaspoons finely chopped garlic;
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger;
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh galangal or 2 slices galangal in brine;
- 6 fresh red chillies or 2 tablespoons sambal oelek;
- 1 stem lemongrass, white portion only, thinly sliced;
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil;
- 2 teaspoons palm sugar or brown sugar;
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste.
- Shell and devein the prawns. If they are large, cut each into 3-4 pieces.
- If using dried tamarind, soak in 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) hot water for 10 minutes, then squeeze to dissolve the pulp. Strain and reserve the liquid, discarding the seeds and fibres.
- Pound or blend the shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal, chillies and lemongrass until a paste forms.
- Heat the oil in a wok and fry the blended mixture, stirring, until cooked and fragrant.
- Toss in the prawns and stir-fry until opaque. Add the tamarind liquid and simmer until thick. Stir in the sugar and salt and serve as a piquant accompaniment to rice and curries.