- For the Indian dish, see Sambar (dish). For the ethnic group, see Sambal people. For the language family, see Sambalic languages. For jeruk sambal, see Kaffir lime.
Sambal is a condiment used in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the southern Philippines and Sri Lanka, as well as the Netherlands through Indonesian influence, and in Suriname. It is typically made from a variety of peppers, although chili peppers are the most common. Sambal is used as a condiment or as a side dish, and is sometimes substituted for fresh chilis; it can be very hot for the uninitiated. It is available at exotic food markets or gourmet departments in supermarkets in many countries.
The most common kinds of peppers used in Sambal are: Adyuma : Also known as habanero. These are usually yellow and blocky (like a miniature paprika). Very hot. Cayenne pepper : These are usually red and blocky (see above). There are a number of similar looking peppers which are much milder. These can be recognized by their shiny appearance. Madame Jeanette : Yellow or light green elongated pepper. They have an irregular shape. Cabe Rawit (bird's eye chili) : Elongated and tiny. These are red or green and very hot. Cabe is pronounced as "chabeh". Spanish peppers (chilli peppers) or lombok (Indonesian) : These are elongated and have a red or green colour. These are relatively mild, the green ones being milder than the red ones. Naga jolokia : Sometimes called cabe taliwang, this peppers rates a 800,000 on the Scoville scale, which is ten times hotter than cabe rawit (Thai pepper)
Sambal is thicker and richer tasting than Mexican salsa
. It ranges in spiciness. There are a number of varieties which are popular in Indonesia, including: Sambal Asam: This is similar to Sambal Trassi with an addition of tamarind
(asam) concentrate. 'Asam' means sour in Indonesian
Sambal Bajak (Badjak): Chili (or another kind of red pepper) fried with oil, garlic
and other condiments; this is darker and richer in flavor than Sambal Asam.Sambal mangga: Freshly ground Sambal Trassi with shredded young mango; this is a good accompaniment to seafood.Sambal Balado: Minangkabau
style Sambal. Chili sauteed with oil, garlic, onion, tomato, salt and lemon or lime juice.Sambal Belacan: A Malay style sambal. Chili is pounded together with toasted Shrimp paste
(belacan) in a stone mortar. Tomatoes are optional ingredients. Sometimes, sweet sour mangoes or equivalent local fruits are added. Salt, sugar and lime juice are the last items added. Eaten with cucumbers or 'ulam' (leafy herbs) in a meal of rice and other dishes. A Malaysian-Chinese version is to fry belacan with chili. Sambal Tumis: Chili fried with belacan shrimp
paste, onions, garlic, tamarind juice. Tumis
means "to fry" till an aroma comes out. It may be mixed with other ingredients to produce dishes such as sambal kangkong
, sambal sotong
) and sambal telur
).Sambal Kemiri: This is similar to Sambal Trassi with an addition of candlenuts.Sambal Manis: Chili, onions
it has a chiefly sweet taste, as said by the Indonesian word 'manis' which means 'sweet'. Sambal Trassi: Modern Indonesian is "Terasi"; it is similar to the Malaysian Belacan, but with a stronger flavor since terasi is a more condensed shrimp paste than belacan. Red and green peppers, trassi
, lemon or lime juice (tangy, strong). One version omits the lime juice and has the sambal fried with pounded tomatoes. Popularly eaten raw.Sambal Udang: Chili fried with oil, garlic and shrimps.
Sambal Ulek (Oelek) : Chili (bright red, thin and sharp tasting). Some types of this variant call for the addition of salt or lime into the red mixture. Oelek is a Dutch spelling which in modern Indonesian spelling has become simply Ulek; both have the same pronunciation. Ulek is Indonesian special stoneware derived from prehistoric household kitchenware that is still being used actively in most Indonesian kitchens, particularly in Java. It is a stone pestle (called ulekan) with a mortar (ulek-ulek) made from an old and matured bamboo root, that is used for crushing chilies, peppers, shallots, peanuts, and other kinds of ingredients.Sambal Jeruk: Green pepper with lemon. (colourless, adds taste). In Malaysia, it is called cili (chili) jeruk. However, vinegar and sugar are substituted for the lime. Used as a condiment with fried rice and noodle based dishes.Sambal Setan: A very hot sambal with Madame Jeanette peppers (red brownish, very sharp). The name literally means "Devil's Sauce".Sambal Pedas Pedas: Extremely spicy sambal, with the Indonesian word 'pedas' (spicy), being used twice.Sambal Taliwang: This variant is native to Taliwang
, a village near Mataram
Island, and is made from naga jolokia
pepper grown specially in Lombok
, garlic and Lombok
shrimp paste. A kilogram of naga jolokia
pepper is extracted, ground and pressed. This is mixed with ground garlic and shrimp paste, then cooked with vegetable oil.