29 Sambal Badjak

Because a sambal badjak needs to be fried and has to simmer for a while, you can keep your sambal for a longer time in jam jars. Pour it in to a super clean jar while boiling hot. Put the lit on and let it cool. You can keep sambal like this for months. So far, I finished all my homemade sambals before I could test how long they can stay fresh in my jars ;-).

A sambal badjak is extremely delicious. Sambals are served as a condiment with Indonesian food. It is not crazy spicy. You can taste the sweetness of the chili peppers well in this sauce.  This recipe is enough for at least 8 mini jam jars and is done in 45 minutes.

A sambal badjak needs lemongrass, tamarinde, santen (coconut cream) and candle nuts. I love that combination of flavors. It makes it creamy, sweet and sour. Here is the translated sambal badjak recipe by Beb Vuyk, on page 62 of her book.

Sambal Badjak translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch kookboek, page 62.


10 chopped chilies
200 grams of chopped onions
3 cloves of chopped garlic
12 kemiri – or candle nuts
1 teaspoon of laos or galangal
asem (tamarind) the size of a walnut
1 teaspoon of terasi (shrimp paste)
3 teaspoons of gula Java or palmsugar
2 stalks of lemongrass cut into 4 pieces
block of santen or coconut cream
2 tablespoons of oil

Rub the roasted kemiri with the onions and garlic, sugar, galangal, salt and terasi together in the mortar. Saute until the onions are yellow. Add the block of santen and the lemongrass. Make asem (tamarind) water with 4 tablespoons of warm water and add it too. Gently simmer this until the mixture begins to thicken. Simmer until a thin layer of oil appears on the surface. Remove the lemongrass.

29-sambal-badjak-ingredientsA sambal badjak needs a lot of ingredients. Especially loads of candle nuts. They must be roasted before using, otherwise they are slightly toxic. I use kemiri paste in stead of fresh nuts. You do not need to roast it, just add a few teaspoons to your mortar (cobek). One teaspoon equals 2 candle nuts. I use 6 teaspoons for this recipe.

29-sambal-badjak-cobekI rub the onions, garlic, galangal, salt and trassi together. Trassi is shrimp pasta, you can get in Asian stores. It has a strong smell, delicious.

29-sambal-badjak-asemNow fry your spices paste in the wok. I add the lemongrass (sereh) and the coconut cream. I make asem (tamarind) water with asem paste from a jar. I add just a little bit more water (two tablespoons) because I want to let my sambal simmer well. I like to preserve my sauce in jam jars. It needs to go in super clean jars while boiling hot. 

I let my mixture simmer until a thin layer of oil floats to the surface. That’s after a minute or 10. The house is packed with sambal smell. Sorry neighbors! 😉

29-sambal-badjak-jarMy jam jars are washed in my dishwasher and now I boil them too for a minute or 5 to make sure they are thoroughly cleaned. I take the jars out of the water with a chopstick and place them on a clean kitchen or tea towel. With a teaspoon I scoop my hot sambal in to the jars. I press it in as much as I can to get rid of any air. I check if the rim of the jar needs to be cleaned with a kitchen towel. Now I turn the lid on and my cute jars can cool down. They make great presents if you can resist not to open and eat it all ;-).

29 Sambal badjak Pisang Susu

Beb Vuyk, best known for her Groot Indonesisch Kookboek (Great Indonesian Cook Book), was much more than a great cook. She belongs to the most important Dutch-Indonesian (Indo) writers and journalists of her time. Check this out.

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2 Responses

  1. Theresia Lans says:

    Hi my name is Theresia Lans
    I need to know if I be able to can my sambal badjak in canning jars and vacume seal it so that I can keep it in my cubbard and not frigerating it
    Please let me know I appreciate it much

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