NASI LEMAK - A MALAYSIAN DISH


Day 3 of blogging marathon!! Third malaysian dish Iv chose is the most famous Nasi Lemak! Its like the national dish of Malaysia!
Nasi Lemak set comes with coconut milk rice, a spicy sambal, boiled egg, cucumbers, roasted peanuts and fried anchovies. Some restaurants even give you a choice to choose to eat this with Nonya Curry Chicken.



Nasi Lemak is sold in hawker stalls in little packages or 'bungkus' meaning 'to wrap' in malay. It is wrapped in banana leaves and sold even for breakfast. It's supposed to be a poor mans food.(maybe not an elaborate Nasi Lemak such as this one! ;)

The flavour of coconut milk in the rice is to die for.................that, combined with the freshness of the lemongrass..............its magic!

The sambal is everything. It's the perfect combination of spice and sourness!You have to taste it to believe it! It might be an acquired taste for those who are not used to the belachan! Belachan paste is a dried shrimp paste. When I first  moved to Malaysia I couldn't stand the mere smell of belachan. But now I loveeeeee nasi lemak....................... and small quantities of belachan is quite okay:)





INGREDIENTS:

For the rice:
Thai rice - 2 cups
Pandan leaves(screwpine leaves), knotted - 3
Thick coconut milk - 1 cup
Water - 1 and 3/4 cup
Salt
Lemongrass, pounded- 2 stalks(optional)

For the sambal:
Tamarind (size of a ping pong bowl)
Garlic clove - 1
Onion shallots - 7
Dried red chillies - 10 (i de-seeded half of them)
Belachan - 1 tsp
Pinch salt
Sugar - 1/2 tbsp
Oil

Fried anchovies:
Dried Anchovies - 1 cup
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil for deep frying

Other sides:
Boiled egg,cut into 2 (per person)
Cut cucumbers
Dry roasted peanuts



PROCESS:

To make the rice

  • In the rice cooker, put the washed rice,pandan leaves,salt,lemongrass,water and coconut milk and let it cook.

To make the sambal
  • Soak the dried red chillies in hot water for about 20 minutes
  • Soak the tamarind in about 1/2 cup of water. extract juice from it. Add another 1/2 cup of water to the tamarind and extract the remaining juice from it. Strain and keep the juice aside.
  • In a blender put the dried chillies, onions, garlic, belachan and give it a whizz until smooth.
  • In a small wok heat about 4 tbsps of oil. Add the chilli paste and nicely saute for a few minutes till the raw smell goes.
  • Add the tamarind juice let it simmer. add in the salt and sugar.
  • Keep stirring and simmer till the sambal thickens and comes together.
  • Switch off the flame when the sambal has thickened and the oil separates. The consistency is like that of a chutney/dip.
To make the anchovies:
  • Wash the anchovies2-3 times. drain.
  • Marinate the anchovies with the chili powder and turmeric powder for atleast 20 minutes
  • Heat the oil for deep frying and fry the anchovies till browned and crispy. Drain on a paper towel and store in an air tight box

Note: plate it like in the picture to impress your guests!:)




Sending this as an entry for the blogging marathon under the topic 'regional cuisines of a country.'
check out what the other bloggers are doing this blogging marathon #88

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