This spicy dish takes just minutes to prepare, but delivers a big flavor. In Malaysia, okra is often referred to as lady fingers. In other parts of the world, okra is called bhindi or ngombo, which may be the origin of the word ‘gumbo’. Sambal is a spicy Southeast Asian sauce made primarily of chili peppers. This version uses only green peppers, garlic, shallots and Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil.
- 2 pounds okra
- Malaysian sustainable palm oil divided use
- 10 large green peppers such as Anaheim (mild) or jalapeno (spicier)
- 5 green bird’s eye chilies
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 10 shallots
- salt to taste
Heat Malaysian palm oil over high heat, and fry the lady fingers briefly until they are bright green in color, but still crisp. Remove the okra from the pan and set aside.
Add the large green peppers, green bird’s eye chilies, garlic, shallots, salt and enough palm oil to a blender or food processor. Blend until nearly smooth. Reheat the oil in the pan, and sauté the blended paste until it emits a fragrance. Drizzle the green sambal over the okra.
This recipe, by Chef Ismail Ahmad, can be found in the Back to Basics Malaysian cuisine cookbook.