Sambal goreng printil is a nice dish to include when you are serving a variety of Indonesian dishes for a dinner, or to serve on its own with rice. It can be made spicy or mild, a dish that can be adapted easily to different tastes. In Indonesia it would include petai--a bean that resembles the fava bean, and is infamous for its effects when eaten--instead of snow peas, but finding petai in the United States is problematic. The snow peas add a nice splash of color and your acquaintances won't be wondering if something has crawled inside you and died.
This is a relatively quick dish to prepare, taking about twenty minutes to make. Once the meatballs are formed, it requires little more than ten minutes to cook the dish. Slicing the shallots, garlic, and chilies instead of grinding them to a paste, as would normally be done in Indonesia, saves some time and provides a slightly different texture when eating this sambal.
Sambal Goreng Printil
1 pound ground beef
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1--2 red chilies, seeded and thinly sliced (or add sambal oelek to taste)
2 salam leaves
2 quarter-size slices of laos
1/2 tsp petis (shrimp paste)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tsp sugar
1--2 TBS tamarind water
2 cups snow peas, washed and trimmed
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (or 2 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and diced)
4 TBS oil, divided
Mix the ground beef with the salt. Form into marble-sized meatballs. Heat a wok or frying pan over medium high heat. Add three tablespoons of the oil. When oil is hot, brown the meatballs quickly; the interiors should still be rare. Drain and set aside.
Pour off the fat from browning the meatballs. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and fry the shallots, garlic, and chilies until softened, about two minutes. Add the salam leaves, laos, petis, coconut milk, sugar, and tamarind water together with the browned meatballs. Cook for about five minutes, stirring to coat the meatballs with the liquid.
Add the snow peas and tomatoes. Cook another 3 to five minutes, stirring constantly just until snow peas are cooked. Serve immediately.