Indonesian Spice Paste (Sambal)

READY IN: 40mins
Recipe by Ms*Bindy

The tiny red chiles in this recipe are available at Asian groceries. Don't be shy about using bold! This recipe is from Moosewood Restaurant.

Top Review by Chef Kate

I took your advice and was bold--as a result I have about triple the amount of the recipe. I used wonderful tiny fire-hot peppers we grew in the summer and dried. The result was so hot that all one could taste was heat--so I backtracked and made the recipe again--without additional chilies. The result--a still fire-hot sambal, but with the wonderful undercurrents of the molasses and onion and garlic. A wonderful sambal. Thanks, Donna!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a small frying pant or in a wok, heat te oil and stir fry the onions and garlic.
  2. After a minute, add the hot pepper flakes or dried chiles.
  3. Reduce heat and stir constantly so the peppers don't burn.
  4. As soon as the flakes darken a little, add the rest of the ingredients and on the lowest heat, cook the sambal until most of the moisture has evaporated, about 15-20 minutes.
  5. The final product should be so well cooked that you can't detect the tomatoes.
  6. This recipe makes only a small amount, which is all you'll need. Refrigerated, this will keep for months.

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