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Vegetable Salad with Hot Peanut Sauce

ingredients

serves 4 - 6
Peanut Sauce
100 g (4 oz) salted peanuts
300 ml (1/2 pt) coconut milk (see note)
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 shallots or 1 small red onion, peeled
30 ml (2 tbsp) oil
5 g (1 tsp) chilli powder
60 ml (4 tbsp) lemon juice
15 g (1 tbsp) brown sugar
5 ml (1 tsp) soy sauce
salt to taste

Salad
2 medium potatoes, cooked and diced
100 g (4 oz) bean sprouts, blanched, rinsed and drained
100 g (4 oz) cabbage, shredded, blanched and rinsed
100 g (4 oz) each green beans and cauliflower florets, boiled until just tender and drained
5 cm (2 in) piece cucumber, sliced
1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks
Chinese leaves, shredded
watercress (optional)
2 hard boiled eggs

method

Grind the salted peanuts until gritty but not a paste; set aside. Prepare the coconut milk.

Pound the garlic with the shallots or onion and fry in the oil without browning. Stir in the chilli powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk and allow to come to the boil. Stir in the lemon juice, sugar, soy sauce, and the ground peanuts, which will thicken the sauce. Taste for seasoning. Allow to simmer until creamy in consistency. Set aside.

Arrange the vegetables in piles on a large platter with egg quarters. Serve the reheated sauce separately.

Note To make coconut milk, grate the flesh of 1 coconut and blend with 425 ml (3/4 pt) very hot water. Sieve, and squeeze the pulp to draw out the liquid. The milk can be thinned by adding more hot water before blending.
A quick method of making coconut milk is to blend together 125 g (4 oz) creamed coconut (widely available in supermarkets) with 400 ml (2/3 pt) hot water.

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