Sambal is condiment that has a chili-based sauce. In the Indonesian archipelago, there are as many as 300 varieties of sambal. The intensity ranges from mild to very hot. Some of the popular varieties include:
- Sambal andaliman
Similar to sambal lado mudo but with the addition of andaliman pepper.
- Sambal asam
This is similar to sambal terasi with an addition of tamarind concentrate. Asam means tamarind or sour in Indonesian.
- Sambal bajak (badjak)
Banten sambal. Chili (or another kind of red pepper) fried with oil, garlic, terasi, candlenuts and other condiments. This is darker and richer in flavor than sambal asam.
- Sambal balado
Minangkabau style sambal. Chili pepper or green chili is blended together with garlic, shallot, red or green tomato, salt and lemon or lime juice, then sauteed with oil.
- Sambal colo-colo
From Ambon, it consists of Indonesian sweet soy sauce, chili, tomatoes bits, shallots and lime it has a chiefly sweet taste. It is suitable for barbecue dishes. Some variations will add butter or vegetable oil to the sambal.
- Sambal dabu-dabu
It comes close to the Mexican salsa sauce, it is of Manado’s origin. It consists of coarsely chopped tomatoes, calamansi or known as lemon cui or jeruk kesturi, shallots, chopped bird’s eye chili, basil, vegetable oil, salt.
- Sambal durian or Sambal tempoyak
It is made from fermented durian called tempoyak. The fermentation process took 3 to 5 days. The chili and the tempoyak may be readily mixed or served separately, to cater the individual preference in ratio of chili to tempoyak to determine the scale of hotness. This sambal available in two varieties: raw and cooked. In the cooked variety, pounded chilis, shallots and lemongrass are stir-fried with anchovies, tempoyak and turmeric leaf (for aroma). Petai (Parkia speciosa) and tapioca shoots are also frequently added. The sweet-sour-hot sambal can be found in Sumatra and Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), especially in Palembang and Bengkulu.
- Sambal gandaria
Freshly ground sambal terasi with shredded gandaria, a kind of tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia.
- Sambal jengkol
Freshly ground sambal terasi mixed with sliced fried jengkol, a kind of tropical bean with slightly stink aroma native to Southeast Asia. Sambal jengkol can be found in Sundanese and Cirebon cuisine.
- Sambal kalasan
Sometimes also called sambal jawa. Similar to sambal tumis, it is stir fried. It uses a heapful of palm sugar which gives its dark brown color, tomato, spices and chili. The overall flavor is sweet, with mild hints of spices and chili.
- Sambal kacang
A mixture of chilli with garlic, shallot, sugar, salt, crushed fried peanuts, and water. Usually used as condiments for nasi uduk, ketan, or otak-otak. The simple version only employ cabe rawit chilli, crushed fried peanuts and water.
- Sambal kemiri
This is similar to sambal terasi with an addition of candlenuts.
- Sambal lado mudo/ijo
Lado mudo is Minangkabau for green sambal, it is lso called sambal ijo, a Padang, (West Sumatra) specialty – the sambal is green (not the usual red)- made using green tomatoes, green chili, shallot, and spices. The sambal is stir fried.
- Sambal matah
Raw shallot & lemongrass sambal of Bali origin. It contains a lot of finely chopped shallots, chopped bird’s eye chili, terasi shrimp paste, with a dash of lemon.
- Sambal ulek (oelek)
Raw chili paste(bright red, thin and sharp tasting). Can be used as the base for making other sambals or as an ingredient for other cuisines. Some types of this variant call for the addition of salt or lime into the red mixture. Oelek is a Dutch spelling which in modern Indonesian spelling has become simply ulek; both have the same pronunciation. Ulek is Indonesian special stoneware derived from common village basalt stone kitchenware still ubiquitous in kitchens, particularly in Java. The Ulekan is a mortar shaped like a hybrid of a dinner and soup-plate with an old, cured bamboo root or stone pestle (ulek-ulek) employed in an ulek manner: a crushing and twisting motion (like using a screwdriver) for crushing lime leaves, chilies, peppers, shallots, peanuts, and other kinds of ingredients.
- Sambal petai
A mixture of red chilli, garlic, shallot, and petai green stinky bean as the main ingredients.
- Sambal petis
Uses chili, petis, peanuts, young banana, herbs and spices. An east Javanese sambal.
- Sambal pencit/mangga muda
A sambal from Central Java. Freshly ground sambal terasi with shredded young mango. This is a good accompaniment to seafood. Pencit means young mango in Indonesian.
- Sambal plecing
Originating from Lombok island, the sambal consists of Lombok’s chili variety and Lombok’s lengkare shrimp paste,tomatoes, salt, and lime juice.
- Sambal rica rica
A hot sambal from Manado region, it uses ginger, chili, lemon and spices. Suitable for barbecue meats.
- Sambal setan
A very hot sambal with Madame Jeanette peppers (red brownish, very sharp). The name literally means “devil’s sauce”. It is popular in Surabaya
- Sambal taliwang
This variant is native to Taliwang, a village near Mataram, Lombok Island, and is made from naga jolokia pepper grown specially in Lombok, garlic and Lombok shrimp paste. A kilogram of naga jolokia pepper is extracted, ground and pressed. This is mixed with ground garlic and shrimp paste, then cooked with vegetable oil.
- Sambal tauco
A Sulawesi sambal, contains the Chinese tauco, lime juice, chili, brown sugar, and salt.
- Sambal terasi
A common Indonesian style of sambal. Similar to the Malaysian belacan, but with a stronger flavor since terasi, is more tangy and fermented. Red and green peppers, terasi, sugar, salt, lemon or lime juice (tangy, strong). One version omits the lime juice and has the sambal fried with pounded tomatoes. Popularly eaten raw. Alternate spelling in the Netherlands: trassi or trassie.
- Sambal teri lado
a Padang, (West Sumatra) speciality, sambal is made using chili pepper, tomato, shallot, spices, and mixed with salted ikan teri (anchovy). The sambal is stir fried and similar to Malay “sambal ikan”.
- Sambal tomat
Similar to sambal tumis but with the addition of crushed tomato and sugar. The tomato is stir fried along with the other ingredients until a paste like consistency. The overall taste is hot and sweet, it is a good mix with lalapan.
- Sambal tumis
Chili fried with belacan shrimp paste, onions, garlic, tamarind juice. Tumis means “stir fry”. Often the cooking oil is re-mixed with the sambal. It may be mixed with other ingredients to produce dishes such as sambal kangkong, sambal cumi (squid) and sambal telur (egg).