Sambal Kemiri (Chili Salsa with Candle Nuts)

I have almost made all the sambals from Beb Vuyk’s cookbook. Since I make chili salsa myself now, I never buy supermarket salsa anymore.

By making a lot of sambal myself I’ve learned what I like best, how to make it spicier or less spicy or which sambal recipes are the best to preserve for a long time.

Sambal Kemiri

I like this sambal kemiri a lot. The kemiri nuts or candlenuts make the sambal greasy and a little less spicy. If you use fresh candlenuts you have to roast them otherwise they are slightly poisonous.

But usually, I buy candlenut paste at my local Asian food store. This paste already has been roasted. It is fast and convenient. A teaspoon of candlenut paste stands for 2 nuts.

This recipe is done in 10 minutes and enough for 4-5 people.

Sambal Kemiri # 21 translated from Beb Vuyk’s Groot Indonesisch Kookboek, page


5 chili peppers
1/2 clove of garlic
5 candlenuts
1 teaspoon of salt

Rub the chili peppers with the garlic and salt finely. Roast the candlenuts. This can be done above the gas on a knitting needle or metal satay pin or in a tin foil box on an electric plate. The plate must be in the lowest position and the nuts must be reversed occasionally. They should not burn until black. Rub the candlenuts while still warm and rub them together with the chili peppers, garlic, and salt.

This sambal kemiri is super simple to make. I add 2,5 teaspoon of my candlenut paste to my mortar and rub it together with the garlic, 5 peppers and some salt.

I do not deseed my peppers (and take out the part where the seeds are attached to). But if you deseed the salsa will be less spicy. It’s important to make a salsa not too spicy otherwise you will not enjoy the specific flavor of each sambal.

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