This Malaysian Potato Casserole from Christina Arokiasamy’s cookbook is full of flavor from a rich sambal made of onions, tomato, ground chiles, fish sauce, and palm sugar (an unrefined brown sugar also known as jaggery). Coconut cream, thicker and richer than coconut milk, adds a luscious texture to the delicious sweet and spicy sauce, which coats every morsel of potato —but you’ll still want to lick the last bits from the pan.
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- Yield: 4 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 1 hr
- Active: 45 min
- 1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, washed and peeled
- 1/2 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 cup sambal oelek chili paste, or 6 fresh red jalapeños
- 6 tablespoons peanut oil or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce, or to taste
- 4 tablespoons palm sugar
- Cook potatoes in 8 cups of water in a pot over medium high heat until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain and allow to cool enough to handle. Cut into quarters and set aside.
- While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the spice paste by grinding the onion, tomato, and sambal oelek or red jalapeños in a food processor until very smooth, adding a little water if needed to keep the blades moving. Set aside.
- Heat the peanut or coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the ground spice paste and allow it to cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, until the oil separates and rises to the surface. Add the coconut cream, water, fish sauce, and palm sugar. Stir, and cook for another 10 minutes, until the oil separates and rises to the surface again; the separation indicates the spice mixture (sambal) is cooked. Taste and add more palm sugar for sweetness or fish sauce for saltiness as desired.
- Add the potatoes to the skillet, and stir gently to coat with the sambal. Cook the potatoes in the sambal for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the cooked potatoes in a casserole dish and top evenly with the cooked spice paste, then bake for approximately 25 minutes. Turn off the heat. Carefully remove the casserole from the oven and serve warm.