It's a little hard to go without chilli for my meals for more than two consecutive days, I need something more pungent than pepper, chilli flakes or plain fish sauce or soy with chilli padi. Bottled sauces also don't quite do it for me. Once, I couldn't stop giggling when I spotted a bottle of sambal matah on the shelves at Trader Joe's which further described it as 'Indonesian salsa with peppers, lemongrass, garlic and shallots'. HAHAHAHAHA.
My fridge always holds about three different types of sambal at home. One would normally fry up the mixture of belachan, onions or garlic, and chillies, and have it cooked. There is one type that I prefer raw to cooked- sambal matah. The only thing- I'd have to finish it in two days. Preferably within 24 hours.
Wanted to make sambal matah the next day, but forgot to stock up on lemongrass. Had to pop by a supermarket for it at the last minute- at Cold Storage at Centerpoint which has limited choices of fresh foods. Stared at the pack of lemongrass labelled 'organic'. That was all the shelves had. Nothing non-organic. S$2.99 for like six stalks. Chehhh. The usual S$2.45 non-organic pack held a few more stalks. Whatever, fine. I'm having them raw. #ImpieCooks2016
I still prefer using a lesung batu over a marble pestle and mortar. I'm not just bruising herbs and making cocktails. The marble and wood versions don't quite hold on to the spices when pounding. Someone gave me a molcajete that's made of the traditional basalt (lava rock). Wah, I didn't know how to clean it! Too porous! And my spices get caught terribly in all the holes! UGH. It now sits as a decoration piece to hold spice packets. Heh. Granite works best in my kitchen.