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Homemade Sambal

One of my favourite condiments used in rice dish is sambal, and the best sambal is actually homemade. Something about that torturing heat in red hot paste is extremely indulging and addictive.

Sambal is a chili base condiment popular used in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. They are different types of sambal depending upon people’s preferences but the main character of the dish is always chili… red hot chili.

There are a lot of ready-made sambal sauce and paste available in supermarket, but to get that super luxury custom-made deliciousness, we need to get our hand in that fiery red chili ourselves.

Sambal gives a plain rice dish a face-lift. It can be used as condiment along with your regular meal or serving along side Nasi Lemak. It gives a vibrant and robust flavour in stir fry dishes and may be used as curry paste. Sambal has a beautiful, smooth and creamy texture, it is very irresistible with that pungent aroma swirling over the surface. Homemade sambal can be stored in refrigerator up to 2 weeks, but considering the way we lard it over our hot rice, it can’t be that long.

Usually fresh red chili is used in sambal recipe, but I used what’s available to me… dried red chili. I deseeded the chilies and soaked them in hot water until soft before grinding them along with shallots and garlic.

My eyes, nose and mouth was burning. My kitchen was labeled “Danger Zone”. My husband and son were sneezing and complaining in the living room while the whole house was clouded with chili fragrance. My husband didn’t understand why would I got into so much of trouble to make a tiny jar of chili paste, but once he tasted it he knew it’s simply a part of life.

Homemade Sambal


20 dried red chilies- deseeded and soaked in hot water

8 shallots- peeled

1 whole garlic- peeled

2 tbsp tamarind paste

2 tbsp palm sugar

2 tbsp salt

4 tbsp oil


  1. Grind soaked dried red chili, shallots, and garlic in food processor. You can also use mortar if you have one.
  2. Heat the oil in the pan over the medium-high heat. Add chili-garlic-shallot paste and stir fry for few minutes.
  3. Add tamarind paste, palm sugar, and salt. Stir fry further until the oil rise to the surface. Remove from the heat and store in the clean jar.

*** It can be store in refrigerator upto 2 weeks.

Have a wonderful day,

20 comments to Homemade Sambal

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