Dry-fry 300 g of ikan bilis and the peanuts in a large, heavy-based frying pan over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.
Pound the extra ikan bilis to a powder in a mortar. Add the remaining ingredients other than the oil and pound to a paste (or you can use a food processor).
Heat a little oil in the frying pan and fry the paste until fragrant, then mix in the ikan bilis and peanuts, stirring well to coat. Cool and store in an airtight container.


  • 300 g ikan bilis, plus 2 tbsp extra
  • 200 g raw peanuts with skins on
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2–3 garlic cloves
  • small red chillies to taste
  • 8 candlenuts
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • vegetable oil