Summer seems to be a time of sharing vegetables. Almost every Sunday during summer, people at church bring their bounty of harvest to share. Those veggies are either from their backyard or from their friend's overflowing garden. A lady at work also often brings her garden yield to be shared with her colleagues. Still at work, the secretary of a department at my university once in a while send email to the mailing list I join, when there is extra green bean or other vegetables from the university's trial garden.
I love being in the middle of sharing communities, especially ones that share fresh produce. The spirit of giving is contagious and could demolish wall of hatred and prejudice. I know that many things can be shared, but I hope someday I can also share my harvest. When I have space to plant, of course! Eventhough watching plants grow and harvesting the plants are pleasant distractions, gardening is also labor intensive. So I believe that sharing garden produce means sharing of love.
My friend, one of the church people that brings vegetable to share, knows that I like hot chilli peppers. Since there's no one likes hot peppers, he usually hands the peppers directly to me. I love to get those peppers so I don't have to buy from an Asian grocery store. The store only has pre-packaged chilli peppers on a styrofoam tray. One pack is too much for me as they get moldy so quickly -which show the age of the produce.
Having a lot of tomatoes and hot peppers, I made balado sauce. Usually people use about 2 tomatoes for amount of onion and garlic that I used, but I used 8 or more tomatoes. I made a jar of sauce and saved it in refrigerator. When I don't have time to cook, I scoop spoons of the sauce to a skillet and add eggs, vegetables, or meat then cook it just to blend them together.
I didn't follow a certain recipe to make this. I cooked this sauce several weeks ago, and my bad for not jotting down the recipe right away. So please take the composition of the ingredients lightly. The list of ingredients and the steps should be fine.
Balado Sauce Ingredients: 1 red onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, sliced
5 or more red or green chilli peppers
3 kaffir lime leaves, discard the veins
1 tsp belacan (shrimp paste)
In a pan, sauté onion and garlic until fragrant.
Using a food processor, purée tomatoes, peppers, candlenuts, lime leaves, and sauteed onion mixture.
Pour pureed tomato mixture into a skillet. Add sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer until the sauce is thick. Add vegetable oil to prevent sticking. When the sauce is almost ready, add in the belacan.
*Sambal Balado (Balado hot sauce) is a traditional Indonesian food from Minangkabau, an area in West Sumatra.