Sambal Tomat is an important part of the Indonesian Nasi Goreng. So when I landed up searching for the fried rice, I ended up making the Sambal Tomat at home, which needs to be added for the fried rice.
Sambal Tomat is a condiment, popularly eaten with many Indonesian dishes). Wiki says, Sambal is a chili based sauce which is normally used as a condiment. Sambals are popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the southern Philippines and Sri Lanka, as well as in the Netherlands and in Suriname through Javanese influence. It is typically made from a variety of chili peppers and is sometimes a substitute for fresh chilis. It can be extremely spicy for the uninitiated. Some ready-made sambals are available at exotic food markets or gourmet departments in supermarkets in many countries.
Traditionally, to make sambal, Javanese use a mortar and pestle to grind or ulek the ingredients. Oelek means grinding or pounding. I almost saw how similar this is to our own cuisine.
Sambal Tomat is made with tomatoes, fresh hot red or green chillies, shallots, garlic, salt, and something sour like lime, lemon, tamarind, or vinegar and something sweet may be added, too. The non-vegetarian ingredients such as shrimp, anchovies, or meat.
Sambal Tomat (Spicy Javanese Tomato Sambal)
Ripe tomatoes – 2 cups / 2 to 3 medium
Ripe Green Chilies – 3 -4
Dry Red Chilies – 3 -4
Shallots, peeled – ½ cup
Garlic cloves, peeled – 12
Salt to taste
Oil – 2 tsp
Palm sugar – 2 tsp
Tamarind pulp or juice of 1 small lime – 2 tsp
White pepper per taste
How to make Sambal Tomat
Remove the stems from the chilies and soak them in hot water.
Make sure the chilies stay immersed in water. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Drain the softened chillies, but reserve the water.
Soak tamarind pulp into 1/4 hot water, set aside.
Soak and peel the garlic shallots. In a mixer grind the garlic, shallots, chilies to a coarse mix. The texture should be resembling ground texture and not a smooth one.
Heat a nonstick pan with oil, add this ground paste and keep stirring. If the mixture gets struck, add the reserved water.
Next add the chopped tomatoes, again, stir fry for about 10 minutes until tomatoes are disintegrated. Add just a little chili soaking water if the mixture sticks to the pan. I pureed most of it to a coarse texture before adding to aid the cooking.
Then add palm sugar, tamarind pulp and white pepper. Combine and stir fry 5 more minutes until the mixture is thickened. Taste for more salt if necessary.
Keep refrigerated for a week in a jar.
White Miso is added to this, which is optional. The miso adds the fermented taste to sambal.
Read further to see how else this can be served and cooked.