Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cili Kering Giling (Dried Chili Paste)

An essential ingredient in Malay cooking is the dried chili paste. In any house, this is a MUST have in the cupboard. It is a versatile paste, used in sambal tumis (saute chili paste), fried rice, one pot gravy dishes and stir fried vegetables, chicken, seafood etc. Traditionally, in my grandmother's time of age, they would use a giling or stone grinder. Now days, its just a blend away. 

You can make this ahead of time and freeze it for a year. You can also purchase this in the market or if your overseas you can get them at your asian markets. This paste is the similar as the Korean Chili paste, what is different is that the korean chili paste has a slight sweetness to the taste, where as the Malay version is pretty much just plain hot. Store bought chili paste is usually added with vinegar to preserve it, if you have gastritis I recommend that you avoid the store bought products and prepare your own batch at home. 

Here, I have stored mine in small containers, usually used in restaurants for sauces. The 4 cm container can fit 4 tablespoons of chili paste. Usually for fried rice you need maybe 2 - 3 tablespoons, or for a plate of sambal tumis, maybe 4 tablespoons. Depending on your recipe, you can take out the paste in small containers so you don't have to defrost a whole tub all at once. 

Here is how you prepare it:


20 sticks of dried chili (deseeded)
1 large onion (optional)
7 - 9 shallots (optional)
1 pot of water


Deseed the chilis and throw the already deseeded chili into the pot. Put the pot on the stove and let it boil. Do this process as least 3 times before you blend. This helps take the sting out of the dried chili. If you prefer it hot, boil once only. Drain the water out put it into a blender and pulse away. Add a bit of water to make the blade spin and ensures it grinds the chili into perfect paste. This batch can make up to 10 tablespoons of chili paste. Add your onions or garlic into the blend if you'd like. 

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