This is a great Thai sauce which I can't translate well. Its name in Thai is literally roasted chili sauce, but it's so much more than that. It's a thick, spicy, slightly sweet, slightly sour sauce that's used to flavour tom yam, that beguiling soup, and it makes a great stir fry sauce as well. I have seen inferior bottled versions of this sauce in stores, but when I figured out how to make it myself I jumped for joy. I ate it on toast for a week, I think, so pleased was I with the results.

What you'll need to make about 1-1/2 cups (360 ml)

What to do

Heat the oil in a pot at medium heat. Add garlic and fry till crispy and brown, then remove it with a slotted spoon to some paper towels. Reheat the oil briefly, then fry the shallots till translucent; remove with a slotted spoon, then add to the garlic. Reheat the oil; fry chillis about 30 seconds, till they darken - careful you don't burn them! - then remove them and add to the garlic and shallots. Remove the pot from the heat.

Put fried ingredients, Golden Mountain Sauce (or substitutes), tamarind, frying oil, and fish sauce into a food processor or blender and process to a fairly smooth paste, adding more oil if needed to blend. Transfer this mixture to a pot (the same one's fine), add the sugar, and cook over medium heat, stirring often (it bubbles and splatters if you don't), till mixture turns a rich deep brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool. Store this amazing sauce for several months in the fridge in a tightly sealed jar.

A common dish in Thailand is made by stir frying some garlic in this sauce, then adding tiger shrimp and stir frying just till the shrimp are cooked, about a minute. Serve with jasmine rice and you'll think you'd died and gone to heaven. Amazing.

Note that sneff has noded a similar recipe as chilli jam.

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