|Kuah Assam Pedas with Sting Ray/Ikan Pari|
Of all Peranankan food, I love this The best with its spicy & slightly sourish taste, a natural appertiser. Nothing beats eating this pipping hot with hot steaming rice, lovely comfort food and if I am eating alone, I Don't need any other things; just this with rice and I am satisfied. This was what my MIL used to cook but alas back then there was no proper recipe for me to grasp at, so next best thing when I was queen of my own kitchen years later, I did alot of R&D with alot of trial runs over the years and have finally come up with something that I concocted myself and was pleased with my own result. Ophelia
Kuah Assam Pedas with Sting Ray
2 big handful Dried Chillies
Handful of Dried Prawns
20 medium size Shallots/small onions
25 gm Belacan
2" Fresh Kunyit
3 slices Lengkuas
3 Daun Limau Perut, remove centre vein as bitter
1 sprig Daun Kesom [this is the umph factor]
2 long stripes Sting Ray/Ikan Pari, cut
8 Ladies Fingers
2 handful Tamarind mix with water
*Extra water, opt
1/2 Tabsp Sugar
Sufficient oil for frying rempah
- Soak the Dried Chillies with hot water for 15 minutes.
- Pound the Dried Prawns separately. Remove to small bowl.
- Pound/Blend "C" till fine. Remove to small bowl.
- Blend "A" ie the Dried Chillies till fine. Remove to small bowl.
- Heat sufficient oil then fry/tumis the Dried Prawns till aromatic.
- Then add in "C"and fry/tumis for about 10 minutes. *Crush the Daun Kesom, just before throwing it into the pot, with the palm of your hand and add in & tumis.
- Then add in "A" ie the blended Dried Chillies and tumis for about 5 minutes till it pecak minyak [Do add extra oil if needed as frying rempah without sufficient oil would not get you the correct "taste".]
- Add in tomatoes, brinjals and saute it for 2 - 3 minutes in order for the rempah to infuse in it.
- Add in the Ladies Fingers, Fish & Tamarind Water solution [take note that the total liquid should be the level of the fish and veg. If not enough Tamarind water add *Extra water and adjust this with Assam Keping if necessary] Sugar & Salt and bring it to a boil. Check for taste, adjusting if necessary.
- Once it comes to a bowl off the fire as you dont want to over cook the fish.
(a) When I made it for dinner last nite, my daugther who told me that she would not be eating dinner at home, could not resist this with rice as my kitchen still had this heavenly smell at 1 a.m.
(b) You may be wondering why the rempah is pounded/blended Separately and split into two parts? Well in one of my cooking lessions, the Thai Chef taught us to split the rempah into 2 parts, the red part ie the Dried Chillies or Red Chillies then the other part, which he called "The White Rempah" consists of the small onions, garlic, serai, lengkuas, kunyit and he taught us to first fry the White Rempah then only the Red Rempah :) and ever since then whenever I cook I follow this method as I find it adds depth to my cooking :)
(c) Pounding it manually again gives volumes to your cooking. Whenever I cook my husband will ask me whether I pounded or blended the rempah as he is of the opinion that things taste better when pounded and if I am not free, he will willing don an apron and pound for me and incidentally, HE is a good cook himself thus whenever I have cake orders and not free to cook, he will take over the kitchen and boy does his cooking rocks!!! I am truly blessed :)
(d) Finally, my MIL does not add Dried Prawns, I added it as I love the smell when I tumis.
Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia