Rainy days always reminded me of my younger days... some donkey years ago!! Our monsoon season was from July onwards... very heavy downpour with flashing lightning and loudest thunder... very scary indeed...for a young child, especially when it was nearly bedtime...
It, too reminded me of one special dish... a 'poor man's' dish...~ fried salted fish with hot steaming rice and ground white pepper?.. It is the most unhealthy meal but I relished the taste of crispiness, saltiness, and the heat from white pepper... could warmed up my tummy... :)
- salted fish ~ kurau or mergui
- 100g -150g dried chillies
- 1 tablespoon ground fennel
- 50g raisins
- 3 tablespoon of golden fried shallot (from grocer or 3 shallots thinly sliced)
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- 3 cloves of garlic - thinly sliced
- 1 inch fresh ginger - thinly sliced
- 100ml water mix with 3/4 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
- 100g sugar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Canola or cooking oil
Using the same wok (wipe the used oil with kitchen paper... be careful it is HOT!!). Add about 2 tablespoon of oil, and give the dried chilli and grounded fennel.. a quick stir. Leave it to cool .then.. blend (add a little bit of water) into a fine paste. If shallots are to be used, then saute the shallots until golden in colour.
Heat the wok again... add oil and stir fry the curry leaves until fragrant. Add the chilli paste, ginger and garlic... and stir until the oil separates.
Add water and tamarind concentrate and bring to boil. Stir in sugar and simmer over gentle heat until gravy is thick.... leave it to cool.