Indonesian Chile Paste (Sambal Badjak)

Dave DeWitt Recipes Leave a Comment

This recipe and others can be found in the 12-part illustrated series “A World of Curries”. You can read all about this unique Indian flavor here.



8 to 10 fresh red chiles, such as serrano or jalapeño, seeds and stems removed
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon shrimp paste or prawn paste
5 candlenuts (or substitute macadamia nuts or cashews)
1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
1 small piece galangal, peeled and chopped (or substitute ginger)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 kaffir lime leaves, crushed
1 cup thick coconut milk, recipe here    


In a food processor or blender, combine the chiles, onions, garlic, shrimp paste, nuts, tamarind concentrate, and galangal, and puree to a fine paste.

Sautee the paste in the oil until aromatic, about 3 to 4 minutes, add the remaining ingredients, and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture thickens.


Glossary of Chile Pepper Terms

Dave DeWitt Chile History Leave a Comment

Compiled by Dave DeWitt From The Complete Chile Pepper Book Glossary of Specialized Pepper Terms Not included here are the names of the U.S. cultivars, which, after more than a century of breeding, number in the thousands and are too many to list. Achocolatado. “Chocolatety”; in Mexico, another name for pasilla, a reference to its dark brown color. Acorchado. “Corky”; …

The Chile Cuisine of India, Part 2

Fiery Foods Manager India Leave a Comment

By Dave DeWitt  An Introduction to Curries     Recipes: Quick Curry Powder (Bafat) Indian Minced Meat Curry (Keema Bafat) Pork Curry Gurkha-Style Moghlai Chicken Curry (Nimbu Masala Murgh)     Indian Chile Vendors, ca. 1880 The word curry refers to both a spice mixture and a style of cooking. The spice mixture usually contains chile peppers in the form of …

Nancy Gerlach

Indonesian Sambals

Fiery Foods Manager Asia Leave a Comment

Indonesian Sambals by Nancy Gerlach, Food Editor Emeritus Recipes: Sambal Oelek (Hot Chile and Lime Condiment) Sambal Trassi (Shrimp Paste Condiment) Sambal Tomat (Tomato Condiment) Sambal Bajak (Fragrant Chile Sambal) Sambal Kacang (Spicy Peanut Sauce) Just the name Indonesia conjures up images of tropical islands, swaying stands of bamboo, white sandy beaches, clear blue waters, and people dressed in …

A World of Curries: Spice Islands Curries

Dave DeWitt A World of Curries, Asia Leave a Comment

by Dave DeWitt      Recipes: Indonesian Chile Paste Curry Puffs Curried Coconut Beef White Chicken Curry Prawn Curry Singapore Fish Head Curry    The original Spice Islands were the Moluccas, those remote isles of cloves and nutmeg that lie 1,500 miles east of Djakarta, Indonesia.  But throughout history, the location of the Spice Islands gradually broadened to include all …