Indonesian Sambal is a chili-based sauce and one of the most popular Indonesian dishes. The combination of chilies, tangy lime juice, sugar and salt all pounded up with mortar; creating such an aroma and mystique taste to the dishes.


  • 6–8 red chillies

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2 cm piece ginger

  • 1 lemongrass root, thinly sliced from the white part only

  • 50ml white vinegar

  • ½ cup white sugar

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1lime, grated

Sambal Preparation:

  1. Chop the ginger, garlic and lemongrass and place in a mortar. Add the chilies and half of the lime rind, keeping the other half aside for later.

  2. Crush the ingredients together in the mortar. Gradually add the vinegar.

  3. Add a pinch of salt and lime zest, for flavor, while continuing to breaking down the ingredients

  4. Add the crushed ingredients to a saucepan then bring the pan to a boil with the mix of a wooden spoon.

  5. After boil, let it simmer for 3 minutes

  6. Add a pinch of sugar while stirring

  7. Steam for an estimated 10 minutes over a medium flame

  8. Finally, add grated lime to top off it off

  9. Sambal may be served hot or cold, preferably cool, a complement to just about any dish