Way too soon…

After my success at planting ladies’ fingers, I decided that I would try my hand at planting brinjal/egg plant so I buried the seeds in the ground. Nothing appeared and in the end, I had no choice but to abandon the idea and assume that nothing would ever come out of it.

Then, I went on to try my luck with chilies. Yes, the seedlings sprouted out soon enough and the leaves grew really well but one fine morning, I went to have a look and there wasn’t a single one left. @#$%^&*!!!! Thankfully, new leaves eventually appeared out of those pathetic stalks and right now, though still small, one has started to flower…but no, I am not getting my hopes up too high. I’ll just wait and see what will eventually happen in the end.

My sister-in-law fared a little better. At least, she did get a lot of chilies from her plants but she has been forced to pluck them all way too soon. If she waits till they turn red, they would all be infested and would be rotting inside, no longer suitable for consumption.

That was why she gave my missus one bagful that day and I decided I would try and use some…

Green chilies from SIL

…to make my own version of the cabe ijo/cili hijau (green chili) sambal.

I sliced 5 big ones and 3 cili padi and added three shallots and 5-6 cloves of garlic, all sliced and a few slices of ginger…

Shallots, garlic & ginger

…and some ikan bilis (dried anchovies), rinsed and some hay bee/udang kering (dried prawns) pre-soaked in hot water to soften…

Ikan bilis and hay bee

…and I pounded all that before squeezing the juice of 2 calamansi limes and adding a teaspoon of sugar to counter the sourish taste and mixing everything together…

Sambal cabe ijo, my original recipe 1

I thought it was rather nice and went absolutely well with rice but my girl said it was rather dry. I guess one can always add more lime juice but I was quite happy with it that way.

I did google to have a look at some recipes and yes, they all fry theirs in oil, the Padang, Indonesian way like how they do it at one place here…

Cabeijo sambal cabe ijo
*Archive photo*

…and one recipe had it steamed but that was not what I had in mind.

Of course, there are so many other things that I can add to make my own version of the sambal. My friend, Peter, the boss of Payung Cafe, said that I should add  some Thai basil leaves to my sambal – they would bring the taste to a whole new level. I certainly would love to try that next time…and maybe, some langkuas (galangal) or serai (lemon grass) that I have growing in my garden. I probably would leave out the kunyit (turmeric) so as to maintain the green colour of the sambal.

As it was, the way I made it that day, I really enjoyed it…

Sambal cabe ijo, my original recipe 2

…especially when I wrapped a generous amount of it in some ulam raja leaves and popped into my mouth…

My sambal cabe ijo & ulam raja leaves

Yum yummm!!! I had to refrain from going for a second plate of rice that day!

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