This past week I had a craving for all things spicy which is unusual as I normally don’t eat a lot of chillies or spicy food. My sister and mom are the chillie lovers in the family and if they could they would chillies every day. It really is their staple ingredient. My mom is half Indonesian so her part of the family eats lots of spicy foods, I guess I take after my dad or so I thought. At the market this week I saw a packet of little dried salted fish which Surinamese people use for one of the most popular dishes which is called telo. It consists of fried cassava and fried little fish. So I bought a packet of fish along with some adjoema chillies. This fish can be found at a toko or the chinese wholesaler(ask for trie). Most of the time I have a packet of cassava in the freezer, already cooked. I buy these at the chinese wholesaler in the frozen section. You can buy cassava fresh but then you still have to peel away the thick skin and cook them, there is no shame in buying them precooked in my opinion. Making this snack is very easy and very tasty. Recipe as follows;
Start by soaking the salted fish in water for about 20 minutes so that most of the salt is rinsed off. After soaking it, remove the heads of the fish. You’re not going to use the heads, you can toss those out. Then chop some onions, garlic and chillies. Begin frying the little fish in some oil( I use groundnut oil). When they turn crispy, remove with a slotted spoon. Then in another pan, pour some oil and saute the onions, garlic and chillies. When it smells wonderful chuck in the fish and stir. Add some tomato paste for the colour. I add a tbs of sugar to balance the spiciness of the fish. Let simmer for 7 minutes and turn of the heat. Since the cassava is already cooked you just need to fry it for a couple of minutes. I really enjoyed the crunchy texture of the fish and the spiciness.