When people asked me about what I miss from Indonesia as I currently live far from my country, the first thing that comes to my mind after family and friends is Indonesian food. No matter it is not yet as internationally famous as Japanese and Chinese food, Indonesians really have various types of dishes, from sweet, salty to certainly, spicy food.
Indonesian chili is one of those food ingredients that I miss a lot. Here in Italy, it’s quite hard to find very spicy chili as in Asia. The closest to Indonesian spicy level that I like here is chili from Calabria. Nevertheless, it’s actually quite normal, except when they use Habanero to prepare the chili sauce.
Indonesians prepare chili in many different ways. The one that I’m going to talk here is Balado Chili. This chili is one of the most used chili sauce types to prepare various Indonesian food, from tofu, meat, seafood, potatoes, eggs and many other things.
Indonesians prepare Balado Chili by using shallot, garlic, fresh red chili, fresh tomato, sugar, salt and surely, some special ingredients like lime leaves and lemongrass to make it smell good. Moreover, if we want the Balado Chili to be very spicy, we can use the Bird’s Eye Chili, which is small but completely spicy and tasty for spicy food lovers. This unique small chili can be found easily in Southeast Asia.
To make Balado Chili with these ingredients, we need to finely mash and mix the chili, shallot, garlic and tomato with mortar or blender. Then, when it’s ready, stir fry in a pan with some vegetable oil by also adding the salt, sugar, lemongrass and lime leaves while being cooked until we can smell the tasty fragrant.
After we finish cooking the Balado Chili, we can use it to prepare and cook other types of dishes, like Balado Tofu, potatoes, prawn or meat and even egg Balado. The one that I’m showing in the picture is potatoes and tofu cooked with Balado Chili fresh from the pan.
I understand that for people who don’t or can’t eat spicy food, this might be unimportant for them. However, for spicy food lovers as I am, this Balado Chili is “a taste of paradise”, especially when I can only use it occasionally in Italy, unless I’m ready to prepare and cook everything by myself. Not only spicy, this chili also has special fragrant that makes many dishes have unique taste. And of course, the spicy level of Balado Chili can always be modified according to our preferences.
Therefore, fellow spicy food lovers, what do you think? Is it tasty and spicy enough for you? 😉