Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sambal Serai Ikan Bilis(Lemongrass Anchovies in Chili Gravy)

Sambal. Oh-my-my! Sambal, aka chilli based gravy, is always, forever, now and forever the splendour to our Malaysian meal (Gado Gado, Ayam Goreng, Mee Rebus, Ikan Masin Nenas, Serai Sayur Lodeh, Sardine Cili Api,  Soup Ikan, Kari Kepala Ikan Belimbing, Nasi Pudina, Mee Siam Kuah & Nasi Goreng Bebola Ikan). We Malaysians just so love our sambal. Anytime. I especially am the biggest sambal queen, though the same can't be said about the man I have been faithfully married for donkeys years. Sambal is my wonder food. Spiciness (Mee Siam Kuah) and tad bit of tanginess (Ikan Masak Chilli Belacan) actually, you know what, sambal is an easy preasy dish. Nothing complicated, nope, I bet, the core for sambal is (Sambal Belacan), obviously chillies, either fresh or dried, then of course, for the interplay of tastes, we need tadbit of lime juice, or tamarind juice, a tiny bit of sugar, generally I fancy our Gula Melaka/Palm Sugar (Ayam Masak Masam Manis) and the rest of the ingredients are pretty much our usual pantry stocked up ingredients.

Sambal is generally eaten with rice, because it is a spicy side dish (Chilli Coriander Steamed Fish & Chilli Watermelon Salad) dip or condiment, I will also proudly vouch that sambal is touted as our spicy jam. Yes, sure, of course (nasi lemak). So, you can spread, fill and tuck sambal in toast/bread slices. Today, ladies and gentlemen, I will be showcasing another style of our Malaysian sambal. Sambal Serai Ikan Bilis(Lemongrass Anchovies in Chili Gravy). We can't run far out from chillies for sambal, remember I have already told you, I also added some long beans/kacang panjang (Long Beans Coconut Sauce) and mind you, the scent of lemongrass/serai is just so amazing for most of our Malaysian savoury dishes (Lemongrass/Serai Cordial, Sambal Petai, Sambal Tempeh Bilis, Serai Ikan Masak Kicap & Lemongrass Chilli Prawns). 

1 cup anchovies - soak for about 10 minutes and drain off excess water.
10 long beans -cut into 1 inch length.
2 tbsp dried chilli paste
1 lemongrass - smashed/crushed
1 large onion - slice into rings
3-4 garlic - sliced/chopped
1 tbsp (or as per taste) calamansi lime juice
Oil as needed
Salt for taste

Heat oil, fry anchovies till crispy and crunchy.
Remove and keep aside. 
Leave about 2 tbsp of oil in the same pan.
Add garlic, lemongrass and onion.
Fry for about 1 min.
Put in chilli paste.
Fry till oil splits.
Add long beans; pour lime juice and season with salt.
Cook the beans for a texture you prefer.
(Note: pour a bit of water if needed)
Lastly add fried anchovies.
Stir in and remove from heat. 
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  1. Everything here looks so delicious.. Lemongrass makes this so flavourful. Yumm

  2. Everything here is so delicious.. Lemongrass makes this so flavourful.. Yumm

  3. have to try that coriander rasam, looks so fresh.

  4. Thanks for visiting my space and leaving a comment..
    your blog is lovely..Happy being you new follower..

  5. I have never tried this but it looks so yum :)

  6. Lovely spin off sambal ikan bilis. I really do admire your consistency in updating your blog, despite working as well. It takes dedication!

  7. Looks so delicious and beautiful color, love to pair it with coriander rasam....

  8. i havent hrd abt this dish..Looks soo yum n nice
    beautiful clicks <3

    my recent one :

  9. Looks spicy and would love to have a bite.I have tasted this before from Malay food courts and really liked...

  10. Yum! I love anchovies and combined with lemongrass and chili paste...please, I just need a bowl of rice to go with it...
    Thanks for the recipe Nava...hope you are having a great week :D

  11. I always love anchovies... With lemon grass combo definitely it must be a hit in ur house

  12. hmm anchovies with beans thats intresting.simple yet different ..

  13. i thought i commented, probably it got lost...
    wanted say that food looks great and your pics are as always amazing..

  14. delicious and such tempting pics...

  15. That looks so delicious! I love the combination of colours and the rasam pictures too.

  16. We do make dried shrimp with long beans and unripe banana. This sambal with anchovies look awesome.I am glad u are ready to spare time for blogging however busy u are.

  17. Looks lovely! Happy to follow you back!

  18. Chilli gravy sounds amazing :D
    What a lovely colour!

    Choc Chip Uru

  19. I wonder how you manage it all. And manage so well. I have been a banker for 7 years before I became a mother. Loved it, though it was hectic. So, I can imagine how difficult it must be to balance it all. Like always, the flavours are perfect and the dish looks stunning!

  20. this looks so addictive. reminds me of tau hu goreng

  21. Presentation amazing and delish. I know you do not celebrate Halloween but this is Halloween week in USA so this week all my post will be base on it.

  22. This looks so flavorful and tempting ! Would love to try this soon!

  23. I love to have this.... Yours look so tempting...


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