Sunday, December 16, 2012

A recipe - Ulam

The Man and I cooked dinner for his relatives last night. I made this local salad a.k.a. ulam with fresh coconut sambal to offset the hot sambal fried chicken. I love this salad. It's one of my favourites. It's a combination of my mother and mother-in-law's recipe. They're both from Johor so... yeah :) 

This recipe uses pestle and mortar for pounding, so, depending on the amount, you might have to do it in batches.

1) Selom shoots (water dropwort, water celery, water parsley) or ulam Raja (King's Salad)
2) 3 - 4 red chillies - chopped and deseeded is you don't want it too hot
3) A small handful dried anchovies - washed and strained
4) 2 medium sized red onions or shallots - sliced
5) 2 handfuls grated fresh coconut
6) 2-3 tablespoon thick tamarind juice 

  • Roughly chop greens and set aside - Selom shoots are recommended but I used ulam Raja because those weren't available.
  • Pound the chillies into juicy paste.
  • Add generous pinch of sugar, salt + anchovies. Continue pounding into paste.
  • Add coconut - using a spoon, mix and pound alternately to release some coconut juice and to combine with the chili. Do NOT pound to a paste.
  • Add onions - mix and pound alternately again only to release some juice. Do NOT pound to a paste.
  • Add tamarind juice and mix.
  • Add more salt, sugar or tamarind juice to taste if necessary.

I like mine when I can taste a bit of everything - the coconut milk, the onions, salty, sweet and sour. And no overpowering taste of the anchovies. It takes a bit of experimenting so you're gonna have to use your taste buds as guide.

Chill in fridge.

Serve - Some people like to mix the coconut sambal and the ulam but I prefer to keep them separate like in the pic. It allows my guests to take a combination of whatever amount suits them. I like to pile mine on :)

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