Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sweet Sambal with Gula Melaka

Pin It Now!
Pin It
As Malaysian we love sambal, condiment that has a chili-based sauce. This sambal goes very well with Nasi Lemak (coconut rice) or even plain rice. It also can be used as paste in cooking dishes especially seafood. Main ingredients in making sambal include chilies (dried and fresh), shallots and belacan (shrimp paste). For sweetness we used to add Gula Melaka (Palm sugar). Of course not forget tamarind paste (asam jawa) which is added to balance up the heat of chilies. 

Every household has their own recipe of sambal. I love mine with lemon grass added. Quite lots of oil needed in cooking sambal. Therefore I fry ikan bilis (anchovies) first then using the same oil to cook the sambal. Here is my favourite sambal. Hope you enjoy this sambal as much as I do :)

Recipe from my mum’s kitchen
Sweet Sambal with Gula Melaka
15 pieces dried chilies
2 fresh chilies
1 large onion
15 pieces shallots
1 lemon grass (only white part)
small knob of belacan (shrimp paste)

1 cup ikan bilis, washed (anchovy)
*dry fry
½ cup vegetable oil

50g gula Melaka (palm sugar)
1 tablespoon tamarind paste (asam jawa)
*Dissolve in 50ml hot water and leave for few minutes. Strain tamarind juice and set aside.
salt to taste

1. Blend dried chilies, fresh red chilies, onions, shallots, lemon grass and belacan (with little water) till fine paste.

2. Place the ikan bilis into cold wok. Turn on the heat and heat up the wok. By doing this moisture from ikan bilis will evaporate as you heat up the wok. Add in ½ cup of cooking oil. Pan fry ikan bilis (anchovies) by stirring frequently till golden brown. Remove fried ikan bilis and keep aside for later serve with sweet sambal.

3. Add in blended chili paste into remaining oil, sauté till aroma and oil separated.

4. Add in gula Melaka, strained tamarind juice and salt (if needed). Continue to sauté over low flame till thick, add in water when needed.

5. Serve with fried ikan bilis, cucumber slices and other as per your preference.

I'm linking this post to this month event, Little Thumbs Up with the theme CURRY powder or paste, organised by Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY and Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Miss B from Everybody Eats Well in Flanders 



  1. Yummy! Great in sandwich too.

  2. Look yummy ! And this sweet sambal can be added in many dishes , a versatile of sambal ..

  3. I love this sweet sambal, can go together with just plain rice!

  4. Hi, I'm glad you posted a sambal recipe for this LTU curry theme. I love all kinds of sambal. I can just have sambal with rice, noodles, crackers, anything. Love the colour of your sambal. I guess the gula melaka creates that difference. Well done. Must be yummy :-P

  5. Vivian, it looks very appetizing. I want to try your sambal.

  6. Hi Vivian,
    Thanks for joining in our curry event. Homemade sambal is just the best! Just curious, how long can we keep this sweet sambal in the fridge?

    1. If it is cook propely it can be kept about a week. Happy cooking!

  7. Hi Vivian, thanks for sharing the recipe. May I ask if I need to deseed the dried chilies & soak in hot water before blending? I can't find gula Melaka here, so I'll experiment with dark brown sugar and see how it taste.

    1. It is easier to deseed after soak dry chilies. Once soften, deseed and blend. Substitute with dark brown sugar is a great idea. Happy cooking!

  8. Hi Vivian, dark brown sugar turned out well. Lemon grass elevated the sambal fragrance, wonderful ingredient. As your food blog supporter, I thank you for sharing and look forward to experimenting other recipes you have posted.

  9. Wow!! I like Sambal Recipe. Thanks for sharing.....


Thank you by dropping by my blog. I would appreciate if you can leave comments on my posts for friendships.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...