Sambal Balado Recipe: A Spicy Indonesian Delight

Sambal Balado Recipe: A Spicy Indonesian Delight


Sambal Balado is a beloved Indonesian condiment known for its fiery spice and bold flavor. This classic sauce hails from the Minangkabau region of West Sumatra and is a staple in Indonesian cuisine. Sambal Balado is the perfect accompaniment to many dishes, adding a spicy kick that wakes up the taste buds. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to make Sambal Balado at home.

Ingredients You'll Need
For the Sambal Balado:
  1. Chilies: 10-15 red bird's eye chilies (cabe rawit), or more for extra spiciness. 4-5 large red chilies (cabe merah), seeded.
  2. Shallots: 5-6 shallots, thinly sliced.
  3. Garlic: 4 cloves of garlic, minced.
  4. Tomatoes: 2 ripe tomatoes, diced.
  5. Cooking Oil: 3 tablespoons.
  6. Tamarind Paste: 1 teaspoon tamarind paste, dissolved in 2 tablespoons of warm water.
  7. Salt and Sugar: To taste.
Cooking Steps
1. Prepare the Ingredients:
  • Thinly slice the shallots, dice the tomatoes, and mince the garlic.
  • If you prefer a milder sambal, you can deseed the chilies.
2. Blend the Chilies:
Using a food processor or mortar and pestle, blend the red bird's eye chilies, large red chilies, and minced garlic until they form a coarse paste. You can add a little salt to aid in grinding.

3. Sauté the Aromatics:
  • Heat the cooking oil in a pan over medium heat.
  • Add the thinly sliced shallots and sauté until they turn translucent.
4. Add the Chili Paste:
Add the chili paste to the sautéed shallots and continue to stir-fry until the paste becomes aromatic and the oil separates from it.

5. Incorporate Tomatoes:
Toss in the diced tomatoes and cook until they soften and meld with the chili paste.

6. Seasoning:
  • Pour the tamarind paste mixture into the pan and stir well.
  • Season the Sambal Balado with salt and sugar according to your taste preference.
7. Cook Until Thickened:
Continue to cook the sambal until it thickens and the oil begins to float on the surface.

8. Serve:
  • Remove the Sambal Balado from the heat and let it cool slightly.
  • Serve as a spicy condiment alongside rice, fried chicken, grilled fish, or any other Indonesian dish.
Presentation Tips
Sambal Balado is a versatile condiment that can elevate the flavor of a wide range of dishes. It pairs beautifully with fried or grilled meats, seafood, and even vegetables. To enhance its flavor, you can garnish it with fresh lime wedges or fried shallots for added crunch and aroma.

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