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Sambal Bajak - Multi Chili Relish

Sambal bajak is slightly sweeter and milder compared to sambal terasi. This delicious Indonesian chili sauce has great flavors and is great with fried dishes.
Sambal Bajak - Multi Chili Relish

Sambal Bajak - Multi Chili Relish

Sambal bajak (or badjak) is an Indonesian chili sauce (sambal) from the province of Banten, which is the westernmost province of the Java island.

When you order fried chicken in an Indonesian restaurant, such as ayam ungkep or ayam goreng kremes, they are almost always served with a side of sambal bajak.

Sambal bajak is one of Indonesian chili sauce that is so popular you can find them sold wildly in bottled jars across the country. I have even spotted sambal bajak in many Asian markets in the US.

Of course, fresh sambal is always better than the bottled version. So if you are a true sambal lover, you may want to give my sambal bajak recipe a try.

What are the ingredients in sambal bajak?

As always, each family will probably have their own interpretation of how to make a specific kind of sambal, and you will probably end up with hundreds of variations to make something as crazily common as sambal bajak.

For me, a proper sambal bajak should be made with multiple chilies (red Thai chilies, green Thai chilies, and red cayenne peppers), blended together with salt, coconut palm sugar, toasted shrimp paste, shallot, garlic, candlenuts, and kaffir lime leaves.

If you prefer milder sambal, feel free to add some tomatoes or tamarind to your sambal. For this particular recipe, you can add up to 75 gram of tomatoes, or about 4 tablespoons of tamarind juice (1 tablespoon tamarind paste + 3 tablespoon water).

Sambal Bajak - Multi Chili Relish

Sambal Bajak - Multi Chili Relish

How to cook sambal bajak?

First, dry frying the chilies, tomatoes (if using), shallots, garlic, candlenuts, and toasted shrimp paste on a frying pan until aromatic. Then grind these ingredients into a smooth but slightly coarse paste in a food processor, or a mortar and pestle.

Heat oil in a frying pan, add the chili paste and cook until fragrant, then add salt and coconut palm sugar and continue cooking until the sauce is thick and turns into a darker shade.

Add the sliced kaffir lime leaves and stir until you can smell the citrus aroma and the leaves look wilted.

Turn off heat, let cool, then store the chili relish in a glass jar. This should keep for up to 1 month in a fridge. Always return to room temperature prior to consumption.

What is the difference between sambal bajak and sambal terasi?

At a glance, sambal bajak and sambal terasi look almost identical. But when you compare them closely side-by-side, sambal bajak almost always has a darker red color.

A quick taste test will also tell you that sambal bajak is generally milder and also sweeter compared to sambal terasi, making this a more friendly sambal for people with low tolerance to the spicy kick of chilies.

Sambal Bajak - Multi Chili Relish

5.0 from 1 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson

Categories:

Cuisine:

Ingredients:

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Serves: 150 gram

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Ingredients

Instructions

  1. First, dry frying the chilies, tomatoes (if using), shallots, garlic, candlenuts, and toasted shrimp paste on a frying pan until aromatic. Then grind these ingredients into a smooth but slightly coarse paste in a food processor, or a mortar and pestle.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan, add the chili paste and cook until fragrant, then add salt and coconut palm sugar and continue cooking until the sauce is thick and turns into a darker shade.
  3. Add the sliced kaffir lime leaves and stir until you can smell the citrus aroma and the leaves look wilted.
  4. Turn off heat, let cool, then store the chili relish in a glass jar. This should keep for up to 1 month in a fridge. Always return to room temperature prior to consumption.

Notes

  • (1) I usually remove the seeds from Thai chilies to reduce the spiciness level. You are free to keep the seeds for super spicy sambal.
  • (2) If you prefer tamarind instead of tomatoes, prepare 4 tablespoons of tamarind juice from 1 tablespoon of tamarind + 3 tablespoons of water. Add this on step 2 along with salt and coconut palm sugar.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen

Comments

  • Jehan Jehan says:

    Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe

    • Anita Anita says:

      You are welcome Jehan.

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