Indonesian Sambal

Sambal is a chilli paste used as a condiment with a variety of dishes. They are usually made in various combinations with any kind of chili as the main ingredient and flavors changing based on the other ingredients added.



3 – 4 cloves Garlic
1 large or 2 medium Tomatoes
1 large Onion
5 – 6 Red Chillies
Salt to taste
1 tsp Sugar, or to taste
1 tbs Oil

Sambals are used as a dip with fried snacks, as a flavor booster with regular meals, and sometimes even as a base while cooking a dish. I’ve even had this sambal with plain steamed rice and it was a treat. They are quite spicy and very flavorful and can even be a little addictive. This particular sambal recipe is the recipe my parents’ cook has been making for many years. I can’t handle too much heat in my food but there have been times where my eyes and nose have been watering from the heat of the sambal and I’ve still reached out for another spoonful.

Using a mortar and pestle or a stone mortar, grind all the ingredients together without the salt and sugar.

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the this paste till all the water is cooked off.  Add the salt and sugar at this stage and continue cooking for a while until everything is well incorporated.

Let the sambal cool. The cooled sambal can be had immediately or stored in a glass jar in the refrigerator for about a week or 10 days.


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