Sambal Kacang (Peanut Sauce)

Course : Thai
Serves: 4
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1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
2 stalks lemongrass
16 medium dried chiles*
1 piece fresh ginger
1 piece fresh galangal
6 small shallots -- (or 1 medium onion)
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoons sugar to taste -- (palm sugar is best)
1 tablespoon tamarind -- soaked and diluted with 3/4 cup hot water
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 tablespoons peanut/corn oil

Preparation / Directions:

* seeded, soaked in hot, water for 15 minutes First, chop peanuts (or use a food processor) into tiny chunks -- as tiny as the peanuts in your chunky peanut butter, but not too fine. Then, in a blender or food processor blend chiles, shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal, lemongrass, and fennel seed. Blend until it forms a paste. Heat oil in a pot. When oil is heated, put the blended paste in. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring continuously. Then, put in the roasted peanuts and the tamarind with its water. Cook until the mixture boils. Then, put in the coconut milk, sugar and salt. Simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes. If the sauce is too thick for your liking, add more coconut milk or water.

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