Sambal is sauce typically made from a variety of chili peppers and secondary ingredients such as shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion, sugar, lime juice, and rice vinegar or other vinegars.
Various recipes of sambals usually are served as hot and spicy condiments for dishes such as ikan bakar (grilled fish), ikan goreng (fried fish), ayam goreng (fried chicken), and soto.Sambal is a Malay loan-word of Javanese origin (sambel)
Sambal is such a versatile accompaniment and, when you try this recipe, you'll never use store-bought sambal again. Stored in the fridge, this will keep for several weeks.
6-8 fresh chillies
1x 2cm piece of ginger
2 cloves of garlic
1 lemongrass root, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lime
50ml white vinegar
½ cup white sugar
Chop the ginger, garlic and lemongrass into the mortar and add the chillies and half of the lime zest, keeping the other half aside for later.
Crush the ingredients together in the mortar. Gradually add the vinegar.
Add a pinch of salt and continue pounding. The salt will assist to break down the other ingredients.
Taste the mix to ensure you are happy with the combination of sweet, sour, salty and hot flavours. Add additional amounts of the ingredients as required to balance the taste to your liking.
Add the mix to a cold pan. Place the pan over high heat. Be careful not to let the flame come up around the sides of the pan (this will burn the edges).
Mix the sambal with a wooden spoon as it heats.
Add the sugar. This will caramelise the mix and bring the flavours together.
Cook, over medium heat, for 10 minutes or until the mixture is pulpy.
When the mix is almost done, add the remaining lime zest. Cook for a further 90 seconds.
Serve the sambal hot or cold, as an accompaniment to just about any dish.
Note: You’ll need a good mortar and pestle, which are widely available – you can also buy one from Peter's website.