I made this dried shrimp relish in order to make kye thar hin, or Burmese chicken curry as it is known in English.
In order to stick to my self imposed challenge of cooking a dish from each region in my Curry recipe book I had to make this dried shrimp relish known as balachaung. This is a Burmese hot relish, made of dried shrimps with plenty of garlic and chillies. Once made, it can be kept in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to a month. It is worth making a good quantity. Now, I have to tell you that it does not smell pleasant, so if you are going to make this, make sure all your windows and doors are open!
I had to travel a fair distance to purchase these ingredients. We do not have shops where I live that specialise in unusual ingredients. In order to make this, I drove a one hundred and 10 kilometer round trip. For most people that would be extreme. But the drive was worth it just to meet the challenge of making this..
Balachaung – Dried Shrimp Relish
- 225 g dried shrimps soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and then drained *
- 45 mls groundnut oil
- 4 shallots finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves finely sliced
- 30 mls toasted sesame oil
- 2 - 4 red chillies deseeded and finely chopped or 2.5mls - 5mls chilli powder
- 10 mls finely chopped fresh root ginger
- 2.5 mls ground turmeric
- 2.5 mls salt or more, to taste
- 30 mls hot water
- juice of 1 lime or lemon
- finely chop the shrimps and blend until fine and set aside
- heat the oil in a wok and fry the shallots and garlic for 2 - 3 minutes until they are slightly coloured
- remove with a slotted spoon and set aside
- add the sesame oil and heat
- then add the chillies, ginger, turmeric and salt be careful as the fumes from the chilli can be quite strong
- fry for 2 minutes, stirring all the time
- put in the ground shrimps and continue stir frying for 1 minute
- add the hot water and the lime / lemon juice
- stir until the liquid is absorbed
- mix in the shallots and garlic
- the relish should be moist
- taste and add salt if you think more is needed
- when cold, store in an airtight jar
- serve cold as a relish
At the time of writing this blog post, photography was not my main focus!