Sambal Brussels Sprouts

Though strawberries and cream are extremely Wimbledon (and there were plenty of both in the fridge), I had a hankering for a curry yesterday after watching Serena Williams blast away her finals nemesis and win her 5th championship trophy – and this was the veggie half of what resulted. (I’ll post the Murg Makhani chicken recipe soon, promise!)

Why a curry after watching a tennis game at the All-England Club? Why, anyone knows curry is the unofficial official national British dish 🙂

Sambal is a condiment or spicy reduction that hails from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, often made with chilis, onions and prawn paste. There are myriad versions of it, and one of my favorites is slathered on stingray, which is lovingly wrapped in banana leaves and grilled in Singapore’s open-air food markets in a dish known, sensibly enough, as Chilli Stingray (drool).

Already explosive with flavor, this dish transcends to new heights after alcohol has been imbibed, and has been known to be an early preemptive step for many a soon-to-be hangover. But what would I know of hangovers?!

As this is a shellfish-free home, my recipe doesn’t contain the leggy, whiskery creature and is vegetarian (if you ignore the Thai fish sauce, derived from anchovies).

Why Brussels sprouts? I am ordinarily not too crazy about this vegetable outside of Christmas or Thanksgiving meals. But while out in New York City one night with the family, we ate at this wonderful Asian-style canteen in the dungeons of a groovy hotel, which served a charred, sambalish type of Brussels sprouts – and it was SCRUMMY. So I reproduced it at home, with excellent and possibly, healthier results  🙂

What you need:

  • Tomatoes, 3, ripe, quartered
  • Chili, 1/4 of one medium length, medium heat
  • Ginger, fresh, grate 1 tsp of it
  • Garlic, 1 tsp
  • Shallot, 1, quartered
  • Organic coconut oil, 1 tbsp (or any veg oil)
  • Lime, juice of half
  • Thai fish sauce, 1/2 tbsp
  • brown sugar (if you wish), 1 tsp
  • ground coriander, 1 tsp
  • cilantro or other herb (optional)
  1. Bung shallot, garlic, ginger, tomatoes and chili into a food processor and mince till fine
  2. In 1 tbsp of veg oil, sauté the above till fragrant and the moisture of the tomatoes reduces a tad
  3. Add the ground coriander, sauté a few minutes
  4. Season with lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce.
  5. Add some chopped cilantro if you wish
  6. Reduce down to a thick sauce. Keep aside.
  7. Boil some brussels sprouts for about two minutes, till they’re bright green and still al dente. Halve them.
  8. Drain the water completely and bung the sprouts into the thick sauce
  9. Coat them in the sauce, put a lid on the pan and leave it to do its thang.
  10. Cook for about a minute or two, being careful not to overdo them.

That’s it. Easiest sambal sprouts in the universe – and I told you how to make it here!

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July 8, 2012. Tags: , , . Asian, Condiments and Sauces, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian.

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