Chili salsa with Coconut and Corn – Sambal Kelapa Jagung

This sambal kelapa Jagung is very different from other Indonesian chili salsas. It is not as smooth as regular sambal, but rather a kind of strongly seasoned grated coconut ‘salad’ with corn and chives.

I have halved the quantities because this sambal is not preserved well and we have a family of three.

This sambal goes well with stir-fried vegetables for example. Or delicious as an extra ‘kick’ in flavor with a sambal goreng brown beans.

No coconut flour

In Beb Vuyk’s recipe she mentions ‘coconut flour’, but that is definitely too dry and fine for this sambal. When Beb says coconut flour, I use grated coconut. That works so much better.

Sambal Kelapa (coconut) / Djagoeng (Corn) # 38 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch kookboek, page


100 grams of coconut flour
100 grams of young canned corn (drained)
4 teaspoons of sambal terasi
1/2 teaspoon of kencur
deseeded asem (tamarind) the size of a walnut
4 jeruk purut leaves (finely rubbed)
2 tablespoons of finely chopped chives

Mix all these ingredients well together in a cobek and serve. When using fresh corn, some Javanese sugar can be added. This sambal, even in the refrigerator, can not be kept for long.

The ingredients and the recipe is pretty simple. I go to my local Asian shop for kencur. This strongly scented root is sold as a powder and gives this sambal an authentic flavor.

Jeruk purut are lemon leaves and is sold at Asian stores in the freezer or dried. In Thai cuisine lemon leaves are used widely too.

Asem is tamarind and can be purchased already filtered. Tamarind can be replaced by a tablespoon of good vinegar.

My sambal trassi is finished, so I make this sambal on the spot by cutting two chili peppers and adding half a teaspoon of trassi (shrimp paste). I also cut my jeruk leaves finely and rub them through.

In addition to my chili peppers, I also use some dry rawit (small hot Indonesian peppers) – I fancy spicy food today.

Because my rawit is dry I cannot make a smooth paste in my mortar. That’s why I use my emersion blender. I place everything in a jug and add the tamarind, the salt (half a teaspoon) and the trassi and blend it.

The mixture is smooth fast and I scoop it back in to my cobek (mortar). Now I add the corn. I, as Beb says, mix everything well in the cobek and occasionally press the pestle (oelekan) in the mix. This way the corn opens up a bit and the grated coconut will stick to the mix.

I add the grated coconut now and the chopped up chives. The green pieces look tasty in the mix.

This sambal kelapa jagung doesn’t look spicy, but it is! My rawit makes it nice and strong in flavor. An interesting sambal and totally different than I know. I keep it in my fridge for a few days and we eat it with stir-fried vegetables.

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