Saturday, 29 November 2014

Burmese Tart-sweet Chili Garlic Sauce

Tart-sweet chili garlic sauce - mmm! If you like a kick of spice, this little bad-boy a perfect dip, a seasoning on any dish, an awesome toast topping (works well with hummus or cheese) or even just to mix with rice for a very low-key, easy meal.

Before I launch into how you can make this delicious sauce (which I painstakingly tried to catch in the sunlight to make it look pretty), I want to shamelessly plug the book that the recipe is from:

I bought it from Amazon a few months ago after developing an obsession with Burmese food. My husband and I first tried Burmese food on the Thailand-Burma border on our honeymoon, and we haven't looked back. It's hard to explain just how delicious it is until you try it, so... try it! I'll be sure to post more recipes from Burma: Rivers of Flavour as time goes on, as I can't get enough. Burmese food is a little spicy, a little tart, salty and sweet (all at the same time) and once you have your basic ingredients, it's easy to make most of the recipes. The pictures and stories of Burma that sprawl across the book are enchanting, and make me wish that I'd spent more than one (rainy) hour in the country itself.

Anyway, to make this sauce and never have to buy sweet chili sauce again, you'll need:

3 red chilies (ideally dried)
200ml water
2 cloves of chopped garlic
100ml fish sauce
100g sugar
200ml rice vinegar (or apply cider vinegar)

1. Break the chilies in half, break off the stems and empty out. Keep some of the seeds if you like a little more spice, or wash them out if you don't want the kick.

2. Bring the chilies to a boil in a saucepan, then simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Drain the water away from the chilies. Put them in a food processor or blender with all the other ingredients and blend until you get a liquid!

4. At this point, I like to add everything back into a saucepan or frying pan and let it simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes. This gets rid of any excess water and lets the sauce thicken a little bit.

5. Transfer into a container and keep refrigerated. Ideally, leave it in the fridge for 24 hours before using.

Hark at how the sunlight falls and makes it shimmer! I don't get a lot of natural light into my flat, sadly (should have thought this through when choosing a place) - but the fancy food bloggers tell me that I need to use natural light to make the food look prettier, so hopefully I've got you in the mood for some chili sauce!

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