Indonesia is well known for dishes and sauces that feature peanuts. This Peanut Dipping Sauce is used as an accompaniment to Saté (grilled meats on skewers) as well as on several types of salads. The recipe is quite simple but requires a little more time compared to other Indonesian sauces that are all very easy to prepare. The end result is well worth the time and effort though and the sauce will keep for months when stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

Makes 1 small bowl

1/4 cup peanuts, unsalted and raw (50 grams)
6 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon finely minced lemongrass (if using fresh stalk, take from inside of the thick part of the stem)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil  2 cups coconut milk (500 ml)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar  

Dry roast the peanuts on high heat in a small wok or skillet, shaking the nuts around every few minutes. The peanuts should be a rich, dark brown color when done. This process will take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes depending on the heating capacity of the stove. 

Using a mortar & pestle or a food processor, grind the roasted peanuts, garlic cloves and lemongrass until very smooth. Return the paste to the hot wok or skillet with the 2 tablespoons of oil and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes on medium high heat until fragrant and golden. 

Add the coconut milk, cayenne pepper, salt and sugar, stirring until thoroughly mixed. Allow the mixture to come to a vigorous simmer then remove from the heat. Allow the peanut sauce to cool. 

*Tip: If storing in the refrigerator, the peanut sauce may thicken. Add a few tablespoons of warm water or warmed coconut milk at a time and stir thoroughly to thin.