Sambal Petai with Ikan Bilis

By Hedy Khoo, The New Paper

160g petai beans
100g ikan bilis​
2 tsp sugar​
1 tsp salt​
1 tbsp assam jawa (tamarind pulp)​
200ml water​
Cooking oil

10 fresh red finger chillies​
5 chilli padi
100g shallots​
2 garlic cloves​
1 stalk of lemongrass (use 5cm of the white root part)​
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh turmeric​
10g ginger

1. Split the petai beans. Wash and set aside. Rinse the ikan bilis and set aside to dry.
2. Heat enough oil to deep-fry the ikan bilis. Deep-fry the ikan bilis until golden and crispy. Set aside.
3. Grind the ingredients of the rempah together. Add a little water if you are using a blender.
4. Mix the tamarind pulp with 50ml water. Soak for 5 minutes, strain and reserve the tamarind juice.
5. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Fry the rempah for 15 minutes, until the oil begins to surface. Then add the tamarind juice and continue frying for another 5 minutes.
6. Add the sugar, salt and petai beans and stir-fry. Then add the water and allow the mixture to simmer for another 5 mins or until the petai is cooked.
7. Mix in the ikan bilis just before serving so that it remains crisp.