• Servings 2 cups
  • Prep 10 min
  • Cook 5-10 min
  • Cuisine
  • Skill Level

Spicy Indonesian Lemongrass Sambal


  • 6 or more Thai or Serrano chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup shallots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger
  • 3 tbs fresh lemon grass, white and light green parts only
  • 6 macadamia nuts
  • 4 garlic cloves coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 tsp light brown sugar (this brings out the flavors in the spices)
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • dash kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 bay leaf crumbled
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil, more if needed
  • 1 cup water

This spicy sauce can be used as a marinade or as a dipping sauce. It works well with chicken, beef, pork or seafood.

  • Add all ingredients for sambal into a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms.
  • If you want spicier add more chilies.
  • Heat 2 tbs of oil in a heavy sauce over medium-high heat.
  • Cook until fragrant and slightly brown, stirring constantly and adding more oil if mixture is too dry.
  • Add 1 cup of water, reduce heat to medium and simmer until most of the water is absorbed but the mixture is still creamy.
  • Stir often for about 4 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and cool.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


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