If you read my recent review of Lara Lee’s Coconut & Sambal, you’ll already know that we loved Lee’s recipe for tomato sambal. This versatile and fiery condiment can be served with many of the Indonesian dishes throughout the book.
Made from tomatoes, red chillies, ginger, garlic, shallots and some tamarind and brown sugar (for a hint of sweet and sour), it’s quick and easy too.
We made half the amount in the recipe, which was perfect for a few meals. The full batch makes 250 grams, and you can freeze some of it for later use, if you prefer.
Indonesian Tomato Sambal
This is typically made with intensely flavoured bush tomatoes in the parts of Indonesia where they are lucky enough to grow them, but in my home kitchen in London I’m happy to use good-quality cherry tomatoes.
This sambal keeps for up to 1 week in the fridge covered with a thin layer of sunflower oil, or for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Chilli heat: Moderate
- 20 long red chillies (about 250 g), deseeded and sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 4 cm piece of ginger (about 20 g), peeled and sliced
- 2 small banana shallots or 4 Thai shallots peeled and sliced
- 180 g cherry tomatoes
- 1 tsp tamarind paste (or 1 tsp lime juice mixed with 1 tsp brown sugar)
- ½ tsp palm sugar or brown sugar
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Coconut oil or sunflower oil, for frying
Place the chillies, garlic, ginger, shallots and tomatoes in a food processor and blend to a semi-fine paste, retaining a little texture.
Place a frying pan over a medium heat and add 4 tablespoons of oil. Add the paste to the pan and cook, stirring continuously, for 10–15 minutes or until the sambal darkens, is fragrant and reduces to a thick consistency. Season with the tamarind paste, sugar, salt and pepper. Leave to cool.
Check out two more recipes from Coconut & Sambal:
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Kavey Eats received a review copy of Coconut & Sambal: Recipes from My Indonesian Kitchen by Lara Lee from publishers Bloomsbury. Book photography by Louise Hagger, other images by Kavita Favelle.