Malay-style Tomato Sambal Chili Sauce


This Malaysian chili sauce is excellent for Shrimp Cocktail (or Lobster or Crab Cocktail) and is an excellent sauce for grilled or pan-fried fish.

3 dried chilies
1 tsp / 5 mL shrimp paste (belacan)
⅓ cup / 75 mL sliced shallots
2 to 3 red Thai chilies (or other fresh red hot peppers), seeded (if desired) and finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, smashed
Scant ½ tsp / 2 mL salt
2 tsp / 10 mL vegetable or peanut oil
2½ tbsp / 40 mL palm sugar (or light brown sugar)
1 cup / 250 mL tomato purée
¼ cup / 60 mL water
2 tsp / 10 mL tamarind paste (seedless)
1 tbsp / 15 mL lime juice
In dry skillet over medium heat, toast dried chilies until very fragrant and colour is a darker red. Let cool; break open to shake out seeds and discard. Soak chilies in a little boiling water until soft. Toast shrimp paste in skillet until fragrant, darkened and crumbly. Place chilies and soaking liquid, shrimp paste, shallots, Thai chilies, garlic and salt in food processor and work into paste.
Heat oil in small saucepan over medium/medium-high heat, add paste and, stirring, cook until paste is fragrant, darkened and oil begins to separate, about 10 minutes. Stir in sugar until melted; stir in tomato purée, water and tamarind juice. Simmer, covered and stirring a few times, for 15 minutes. Stir in lime juice and continue cooking 3 or 4 more minutes. Let cool.

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