Indonesian Spice Paste (Sambal)

READY IN: 40mins
Recipe by MsBindy

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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