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Sambal Bajak - Multi Chili Relish

Sambal bajak is another chili relish that you can find everywhere in Indonesia. It is so popular that this chili relish is one of the few you can easily find sold in a bottle in many grocery stores. Basically, a sambal bajak is made using multiple chilies (red Thai chilies, green Thai chilies, and red cayenne peppers), blended together with salt, palm sugar, toasted shrimp paste, shallot, garlic, and kaffir lime leaves.

Sambal Bajak - Multi Chili Relish

Sambal Bajak - Multi Chili Relish

As always, each family will probably have their own interpretation on how to make a specific kind of sambal, and you will probably end up with hundreds of variation to make something as crazily common as sambal bajak. This recipe is just what I use, but you are free to add or omit certain spices to your liking. The whole point of sambal bajak is the use of multiple type of chilies, accompanied by multiple supporting spices, and all these are blended together and cooked in hot oil.

Sambal Bajak - Multi Chili Relish

Sambal Bajak - Multi Chili Relish

Sambal Bajak - Multi Chili Relish

5.0 from 1 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 20 mins

Cook Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Serves: 150 gram


  • 6 tablespoon oil
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • Grind the following into a coarse paste
  • 100 gram red cayenne pepper (Indonesian: cabe keriting merah)
  • 20 red Thai chilies (Indonesian: cabe rawit merah) (*)
  • 10 green Thai chilies (Indonesian: cabe rawit hijau) (*)
  • 8 shallots (Indonesian: bawang merah)
  • 4 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted shrimp paste (Indonesian: terasi)


  1. Heat oil in a frying pan, then cook the chili paste until fragrant and turns into a darker shade.
  2. Add the sliced kaffir lime leaves and stir until you can smell citrus aroma and the leaves look wilted.
  3. 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.


  • (*) I usually remove the seeds from Thai chilies to reduce the spiciness level. You are free keep the seeds for a super spicy sambal.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Jehan Jehan says:

    Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe

    • Anita Anita says:

      You are welcome Jehan.

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