Masak Merah Lots of Mix
King Coco says, she has lots of mix.. well, I'm proud to say that my Masak Merah recipe has lots of mix too!
This is the most unconventional kind of Masak Merah recipe because firstly, it has no chicken meat, and I'm featuring eggplant instead as the star of the dish. Secondly, this is a sauce base for my pasta. Thirdly, I'm using my favourite Indian spice combination for this tomato-based dish... so in sum, there are Malay, Italian and Indian food cultures in this dish..lots of mix ^^
For my pan fried tofu, I am coating it with a combination of:
Onion powder - 1 tsp
Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
Harissa powder - 1/2 tsp
White pepper - 1/4 tsp
Salt - two pinches
The secret ingredient: S&B curry powder - 1/4 tsp
(I added a bit of flour to bind them all together)
Ingredients for Masak Merah Lot of Mix Pasta:
Sauce with Eggplant serves 6 pax:
White Onion (blended) - 1 pc
Red Onion (chopped) - 1 pc
Dried Chillies (blended) - 8-10 pcs
Tomatoes (quartered) - 2 pc
Soy sauce - 2 tbsp
Sea Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
(My favourite part) - Also known as THE BODY
Fennel Powder (roasted and ground) - 3 tsp
Cardamom Powder (roasted and ground) - 3tsp
Onion Powder - 2 tsp
Garlic Powder - 2 tsp
Lemon juice - 1/2 a lemon (you can use tamarind juice too)
Sugar - 5 tsp
This looks like a volcano eruption, and you're right, this does not look like 8-10 chillies. In fact, it's a big fistful of chillies I intentionally grabbed because I feel like some pain tonight.
Sauté the blended chilli in medium heat.
Mix well and let the chilli paste dry up in the heating pan. Don't rush this process. The wonderful sambal taste begins here.
As the heat builds up, add a little water to sizzle the chilli paste..repeat over a few times.
Next, add some sugar to caramelize the paste. Isn't the sauce beautiful? Looks like the wrath of Darth Vader. ^^
Make sure the paste is slightly moist, not too wet because the next step is very important.
Instead of adding water to liquefy the chilli paste, add tomatoes. This is the same principle as my Nyonya Chicken Curry recipe. The tomatoes will impart its juices into the chilli paste and bind them together into a special taste. This taste will Never emerge if you add water in the chilli paste before the tomatoes.
As the tomatoes ease into a paste, add soy sauce.
Now add the spice mix of onion, garlic, fennel and cardamom powders.
Now, add onion puree. Stir and cook this over 10 minutes. Keep tasting the paste.
Then, add lemon juice.
At this point, you will be faced with two situations:
1) Ideal situation: It tastes great. Continue to next step
2) The taste is ok, but a little flat: Do not despair, you are lacking THE BODY probably. This is the time you refer to the few ingredients I listed above and start adding bit by bit. Start with the cardamom and fennel, then adjust lemon, salt and sugar levels. I guarantee that you will correct your course from here.
Add in eggplants. Cook over 15-20 mins, stirring often until they soften (but not too soft, I like it with a little bit of crunch on the skin).
Serve this on your favourite pasta.
Enjoy, this will be fiery!