Also called called lunu miris in Sri Lanka, this is one of those preparations which needs a mortar and pestle to achieve the right consistency: an electric blender would require too much liquid to purée the ingredients.
60 g/2 oz dry red chilies
or 3 tablespoons sambal ulek
15 g/1/2 oz pounded Maldive fish,
60 g/2 oz shallots or onions, peeled and chopped
Soak the chillies in water for 10 minutes, first removing their stems and seeds. Combine with Maldive fish and onions and pound with a mortar and pestle to a coarse paste. Add lime juice and salt to taste. Form into a patty and serve as an accompaniment to be taken in very small amounts.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)