Preparation / Directions:
Serve as a dip with raw vegetables or as a condiment. If the chilies are very hot, you may want to seed them. Dry-frying, a method of roasting, is simply frying without fat.
Heat a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Add whole chilies and dry-fry for about 4 minutes, pressing down with a wooden spoon and turning occasionally. Add shallots and garlic to the skillet and continue to dry-fry, turning occasionally. for about 5 minutes, or until the chili skins are blackened. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cool. Add tomatoes to the skillet and dry-fry for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally, or until the skins are blackened. Let cool.
Remove stems from the chilies and cut in half lengthwise. (Do not remove skins.) Remove seeds if you prefer less heat. Core the tomatoes and cut into quarters. (Do not remove skins.) Place chilies, tomatoes, shallots and garlic in a food processor and, pulsing, process until the mixture is coarsely chopped and salsa-like in texture (not pureed). Alternatively, chop vegetables finely with a knife. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir in cilantro, fish sauce and lime juice. (The dip can be prepared up to 3 days ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.) Makes 1 1/4 cups.
From "Eating Well", Jan/Feb, 1992.