We start the preparation for this delicious paste the night before by soaking tamarind so that we can squeeze out the flavour in the morning. Chillies are also soaked overnight to remove any impurities and to encourage a smooth blend for this medium-heat paste.
The following morning we begin by crushing candle nuts and fresh a-grade roasted Australian peanuts just enough to make a delightful that maintains the nut’s body and texture. We fastidiously inspect the quality and taste of the nuts as we go – to ensure that the flavour of this paste will be flawless.
No burnt nuts make it into our sauce. Trust me, we’ve halted production before to ensure the quality is of the standard we require.
Meanwhile the kitchen team rinse the fresh and locally-grown onions, ginger, red chillies, lemongrass and galangal and garlic delivered fresh from the markets. Each is then blended, chopped or minced separately.
With everything ready to go, Australian peanut oil is heated in the pot and the crushed candle nuts are added. To this we then add top-notch belacan (shrimp paste), filling the kitchen with a powerful aroma.
Handfuls of the remaining dry and fresh ingredients are blended in and then the mixture is left to bubble slowly for an extended period of time until the the flavours combine and caramelise. Once it does, lemongrass, ginger and garlic and a mixture of ground spices are added to the thick paste.
The peanuts, sugars and all the liquid ingredients are poured and mixed in next and then it is all cook on high.
- Making it milder: This can be cooled with more peanut paste, coconut cream, coconut milk, coconut powder, palm sugar, honey and sour cream.
- Making it hotter: It can be made much hotter by adding a few bird’s eye chillies.