Monday, June 21, 2010

Candle Nuts

Mark's recent visit to Tempe -- and thus to our favorite Asian market -- resulted in a small bag of weird nuts - candle nuts. We tried them - they didn't taste very good. So I looked it up and found that they are mostly used as a thickening agent in Indonesian sauces. The most appealing - and least meaty - recipe I found was that of egg sambal. It seemed simple enough and didn't require too many weird ingredients. Still I had to modify it, and the result was very tasty.

Here's how I made it:

Put 4 eggs to boil.
In a medium pan I heated up 2 T peanut oil, and sauteed:
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 t roasted garlic (can substitute with some crushed garlic)
  • 1 t grated ginger (instead of the galanga root)
  • 1 T vegetarian red curry paste (figured it would be an excellent substitute for shrimp paste and red chilies)
  • 1 t tamarind paste (instead of sugar and lime juice)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 6 candle nuts, ground (I used mortar and pestle, and it worked wonderfully!)
That's it! It's ready in minutes. The only thing that took too much time was peeling the darn eggs!
To accompany the sambal, I made Mark prepare pizza dough, of which he rolled out 5 pita-sized rounds, rubbed them in oil, and I cooked them in a small non-stick pan. They came out so soft and delicious, and were perfect for the sambal.

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