The Indonesian region of West Sumatra is home to masakan padang, the most popular and influential style of Indonesian cuisine. In Minang dialect, the term ‘balado’ means ‘with chilli,” so one of the main ingredients of the accompanying sambal balado is most certainly spicy red chillis.
FOR THE SAMBAL BALADO
6 large red chillis
6 garlic cloves
2-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
2-inch piece of galangal, finely chopped
1 stalk of lemongrass, centre white part only
FOR THE BALADO SAUCE
2 tomatoes, roughly choppped
1 tbsp shrimp paste, terasi or belacan
4 lime leaves
6 shallots, thinly sliced
1 bunch garlic chives, sliced in 1-inch sections
1/4 cup salt
1 cup grapeseed oil
10 small aubergines, cut into 1-inch cubes
salt, to taste
1/2 cup ikan bilis (dried baby anchovy).
1. Toss the cut aubergine in 1/4 cup salt. Let sit for 15-20 minutes in a strainer to remove bitterness and water from the aubergine.
2. Combine all the ingredients for the sambal in a pestle and mortar and pound into a paste.
3. In a hot wok, add 1/2 cup of the grapeseed oil. Fry the aubergine in batches until light golden brown, then remove from the oil and place on a wire resting rack to drain.
4. Once all of the aubergine has been fried, wipe out the wok and return the wok back to medium heat.
5. Using 2 tbsp of grapeseed oil, saute the shallots and shrimp paste until the shallots are softened and the shrimp paste is lightly toasted.
6. Add tomatoes, lime leaves and garlic chives, and cook until the tomatoes soften, about 2-3 minutes. Add sambal and stir until combined.
7. Add reserved eggplant and toss to coat. Add 2 tbsp of oil if the mixture is sticking or seems a bit dry.
8. Add seasoning to taste.
9. Just before serving, toss the aubergine with the ikan bilis.
This recipe is from Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted Season Two, which begins on Wednesday 16th September on National Geographic at 9pm.