Peanut sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes around

    one cup

Appears in

Old Food

Old Food

By Jill Dupleix

Published 1998

  • About

Satay is not the reason we love satay. The sauce is. This is the must-have accompaniment to satay, curry puffs and gado gado.


  • 1 tbsp tamarind pulp
  • 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 200 g (7 oz) roasted peanuts
  • 4 dried chillies, soaked in water
  • 4 shallots, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 candlenuts or macadamia nuts
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz) coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp palm or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt


Soak tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes, then squeeze and knead until dissolved. Strain and set tamarind water aside. Pound or whizz peanuts until fine. Pound, grind or whizz drained chillies, shallots, garlic cloves, nuts, and lemon grass into a paste. Heat oil and fry paste for 3 minutes. Add coconut milk and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Add tamarind water, sugar, ground peanuts and salt to taste and cook for 5 minutes. If too thick, thin with a little water.