Although you can buy this at an Asian grocery store (or even whip something up from peanut butter), it is nothing when compared to making it fresh. There are many different versions of the peanut sauce. This is the Kajang style (Kajang is near Kuala Lumpur – famous for its satay). You can make it hotter or tangier by adding extra chilli or tamarind juice.
2 cups dry roasted peanuts
1/3 cup canola or peanut oil
2-3 cups water
2 Tbsp sugar
salt to taste
4 Tbsp tamarind paste juice
6 – 8 dried chillies, soaked in hot water
6 cloves garlic
3 macadamia nuts (the original recipe calls for Kemiri or candle nuts)
3 lemon grass stalks
1 inch piece of ginger (the original recipe calls for galangal)
2 Tbsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
Crush peanuts coarsely. Put aside.
Chop spice paste ingredients and blend until fine.
Heat oil and fry paste with tamarind juice until fragrant on medium high heat. Add water slowly to thin mixture. Add sugar, salt and peanuts and stir frequently for 3-5 minutes. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or longer, stirring every few minutes until oil begins to separate. Taste and don’t be afraid to add any extra ingredients to make it hotter, sweeter, or tangier – they way you prefer.
Serve sauce with sticks of satay and sliced cubes (yes that’s right cubes) of fresh cucumber and red onions.