Tomato Sambal by M. Kuehn

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This sauce is not for the faint hearted. I like to serve it with cucumber raita, onion salad and some poppadoms as a starter as part of an Indian meal. Although it originates from the Far East, I’ve given it an Indian twist. It goes beautifully as dipping sauce for idles and many other Indian dishes. It keeps in the fridge for over a week and has a wonderful depth and heat to it.

Serves 6

1 onion, very finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 can of high quality tomatoes
2 tomatoes, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tsp sambal oelek (raw chili paste in a jar)
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tbs white sugar
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbs oil for frying

Dry fry the cumin and mustard seeds for a minute, or until they start popping. Remove from heat and set aside. In the same pan, heat the oil and fry the onion until translucent.

Add the garlic and cook for a further minute,stirring all the time. Pour in the tomatoes, add the tamarind and the oelek, sugar, cumin and mustard seeds, salt and turn down the heat.

Cover the pan and cook for an hour, stirring from time to time. Cool and then give it a wizz with a soup stick. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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