A delicious Indonesian condiment made with chillies, sambal Badjak is a chilli fan’s best friend.
Used in Indonesia as a condiment, an ingredient and as the base of many dishes, sambals come in many different varieties. From a fresh chilli condiment mixed with spices and vinegar (sambal ulek/oelek), a salty chilli condiment, mixed with shrimp paste (sambal terasi) and my favourite Sambal Badjak.
Sambal Badjak is one of the few cooked versions. Mixed with chillies, tomatoes, onions, garlic, brown palm sugar, tamarind, and shrimp paste this version has the heat one expects from a sambal while delivering a robust sweet yet sour flavour.
In Indonesia I ate Sambal Badjak for breakfast with fried eggs (and with kecap manis), for lunch with meat and vegetables and for dinner with curries and rice.
8 red cayenne chillies
4 birds eye chillies
1 medium brown onion, peeled and cut in half
1 tomato, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon ground ginger powder
1 teaspoon terasi (Indonesian shrimp paste)
4 teaspoons brown palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
1 lemon grass, bruised and tied in a knot
25g Coconut cream
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
In a food processor mix the chillies, onion, garlic and candlenuts into a coarse paste. Add the ground ginger, terasi, tomato and palm sugar and blitz to mix together.
Heat the oil in a large fry pan over a low heat. Add the mixture and fry for 8 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the tamarind, lemon grass, coconut and salt and simmer until the mixture is darker in colour and the oil starts to float to the surface. This should take around 30 minutes (the longer you cook your sambal for the sweeter and richer the flavour will be).
Remove the lemon grass. Let the sambal cool before storing in a jar. Refrigerate until needed. This sambal will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.