Angkor Wat

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Angkor Wat in Cambodia
the world's largest religious monument built in the 12th century
now a world heritage site
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Tik Mteh Plaok Chruk
Khmer Sweet chilli Pepper Sambal

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Khmer Green & Red
Sweet Chilli Pepper Sambal

In Cambodia, when chillies are in season, they are plentiful and cheap so we would buy them in large quantities to create this dish. This is used as a condiment in the same way as  ‘Tabasco sauce’ or ‘Sambal oelek’; and as an ingredient in many dishes such as dips and salads. 

Green chillies are surprisingly nutritious. According to the World’s Healthiest Foods survey, they contain a large amount of vitamins A and C which are good for our vision and immune system. These vitamins are also essential for the formation of collagen and blood vessels. They are therefore helpful in repairing wounds, and maintaining bones, teeth and cartilage.  

‘The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’ claims that capsicum in chillies can be used to promote weight loss.

Caution
If Chillies make contact with the eyes or broken skin, it can cause severe discomfort and irritation. So, make sure you wash your hands after working with chillies. 

Did you know …
Chillies originated in Central and South America. They didn’t exist in Asia until the 16th century when they were introduced by Portuguese explorers.

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Mteh Plaok Kchey
Green Asian Sweet Chilli Pepper
(Capsicum Annuum)




Makes 1 small jar of around 330 ml (11 fl oz)

 Ingredients
Mteh Plaok Tum/Kchey1 or red/green jalapeño 200g (7¼ oz), remove stalks, wash and prick with the tip of a knife
Water 3 cups, for blanching (or just enough to cover the chillies)
Salt 1 tsp


Vinegar mixture
Rice vinegar or cider vinegar 8 Tbsp (120ml)
Sea salt 1½ Tbsp
Sugar 1½ tsp (add more later if desired)
Garlic 2 cloves, peeled and finely chopped (optional)
Corn starch 2 tsp and 2 Tbsp water (stir to mix)

Method
1 - In a medium pan, bring the water to the boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt and then the chillies. Bring to the boil again and cook for 5-6 minutes uncovered. Remove from heat, drain, leave to cool and then roughly sliced. Set aside.

2 - In a small saucepan, add the vinegar, salt, sugar and garlic , bring to the boil and stir to dissolve. Add the corn starch and water mixture and stir continously until it thickens. Remove from heat.

3 - In a blender2, add the vinegar mixture and chillies. Process until you obtain the texture of wholegrain mustard (coarse) but with the consistency of a double (heavy) cream. Add 1 tablespoon of boiling water if too thick.

5 - Transfer the mixture to a sterilised jar (see how to sterilise a jar). This sauce can be kept at room temperature for up to at least 1 week3.  

Tips 
(1) ‘M’teh plaok’, Asian sweet chilli peppers (capsicum annuum) can be bought from Asian grocery stores; and jalapeño peppers at supermarkets. You can also use cayenne chilli peppers (finger chillies) as a substitute. 

(2)  Alternatively, you can use a large chopping board and a cleaver to chop the blanched chillies - transfer to a bowl before adding in the vinegar mixture.

(3)  This can be kept in the fridge for at least 1 month. To prevent spoiling, make sure you use a clean spoon each time you take sauce from the jar.

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M'teh Daey Neang
Cayenne Chilli Pepper or Finger Chilli