Sambal Badjak Chili Paste

The amped up level of heat from this flavorful Indonesian chili paste will add more umami to your palate!

A must have that Indonesians love to eat with their meals are all the types of ‘Sambals’ or chili pastes that compliment the dishes with increased heat level and flavor. For example, you can add it to Indonesian Nasi Goreng (fried rice). Sooooo good! If you love spicy chili paste, then this is a recipe for you!

What I love about sambal, is that you can store it in a jar after you cook it, to use at later times.


  • 10 red chilies, coarsely chopped (you can add more or less chilies. It depends on your taste. You can also make more sambals, each with its own spiciness).
  • 4 cups onions, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 12 Kemiri nuts (if cannot be found in grocery store, replace with pine nuts
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh galangal
  • 1 tablespoon dry tamarind (or concentrated juice)
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 stalks lemongrass (white part only)
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • Salt according to preference


Step 1: Mix dry tamarind with water. If you have concentrated juice, skip this step.

Step 2: Put all dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse into a paste.

Step 3: Put oil in the wok or frying pan and heat up for a few minutes.

Step 4: Add in the spice mixture, the tamarind water (or concentrate juice), lemongrass and mix with oil. Cook for about 5 – 8 minutes.

Step 5: Cook mixture until the color is deep brown.

Step 6: Remove the lemon grass stalks and discard.