100gpre roasted peanutsif buying raw, see post above or Notes, below
60mlvegetable oilor peanut oil
1Tbsp white sugar
juice of ½ a limeor 2 calamansi limes (limau kasturi)
salt, if needed
Prep Work - Chillies, Onion and Garlic
Put the kettle on, then cut your dried chillies, with a pair of scissors, straight into a medium-sized bowl.
Pour the boiling hot water onto your cut chillies, cover with a plate, and leave to soak for 15 minutes. Now, get on with the other prep work.
At the end of the 15 minutes, drain the chillies in a colander and give them a quick rinse, shaking out the seeds. Place into the chopper.
Peel the onion and quarter it. Drop into the chopper.
Peel the garlic and drop into the chopper.
Chop the whole thing until you can a thick, fine paste. No need to add any water, as the onion should provide enough moisture.
Prep work - Peanuts and Anchovies
Measure out the peanuts.If not ready salted and roasted, fry in the oil for 2 minutes, over medium heat until lightly browned. Tip out onto a kitchen paper lined bowl. Reserve the oil.
Measure out the anchovies.If not already cleaned and gutted, do so now. Just pinch off the head and a little of the guts. It's a tiny fish, so you haven't got much to take off. Split the anchovies into 2 if you want, but this isn't always easy, so I leave it whole.Don't wash the dried anchovies.
Heat the oil (the same one as peanuts) and fry the anchovies on medium-low heat for 2 minutes until crispy. You may have to stop at 90 seconds, if they are quite brown already. This will depend on your heat.
Drain onto paper lined bowl. I just use the same bowl. Reserve the oil.
Making our Dry Sambal
Heat the same oil in the same pan you've been using over medium heat.
Remember our chilli, onion and garlic paste from earlier? Tip it into the hot oil (be careful) and stir. Cook this chilli paste for 20 minutes for the flavour to mature and deepen. As we are not using much oil here (compared to this Red Chilli Paste recipe on LinsFood), you'll probably have to add a little water when it gets too dry.The end result wants to be a dry sambal, so not too much, start with 60ml (¼ cup) and see how it goes.
When your sambal is done and pretty dry, push it to one side of the pan and sprinkle the sugar on the clear end. Leave the sugar be for 1 minute, just to melt a little and take on some caramel notes. Then stir it all in.
Tip in the peanuts and anchovies and give it all a good stir and heat through for 1 minute. Check seasoning, and sprinkle some salt if you think it needs it.
Take it off the heat and stir in the lime juice.
Store in a clean jar. It will keep on the counter for 2 days and in the fridge for 5.