A Chili Paste to Relish

This chili paste is traditionally from Indonesia where they call it 'Sambal' which is available in many different flavours and catogories of heat.
My chili paste is a relish made using only; onions, sugar, vegetable oil and the pulp leftover after making hot sauce.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: any
Keyword: chili, hot sauce, sambal, spicy
Servings: 3 jars
Cost: 1.50 EURO / 2 USD


  • wok or large pan for frying
  • jars and lids for preserving


  • 1 Kg onions Ordinary common onions will do
  • 1 dl vegetable oil sunflower or corn oil will both work
  • 100 grams cane sugar use more or less depending on your taste
  • ½ Kg leftover Pulp or finely chopped chilies No need to de-seed


  • Peel and cut the onions very fine. If you own a food processor then that will help you a lot dicing the onions instead of doing them by hand
  • Poor 5cl of the oil to the wok, then add the onions and place the wok on the hub and start cooking using medium heat. You'll need to introduce some elbow grease because you'll want to keep stiring so that all onions get evenly brown.
  • Once the onions start showing colour add the leftover pulp (from making hot sauce) to the pan and again keep stiring continuously for as long as it take to get a nice dark colour.
    In case you don't have any pulp you can use finely chopped chilies. Ideally you would, in that case, want to introduce and some (wine) vinegar in order to get some acidity into the mix. Salt and any other flavourings are, of course, optional.
  • The final touch requires to add the sugar to the mix as well as the remaining oil.
  • Use sterilized jars (and lids) to store this delicious relish.
    Ladle the the relish into the jars while its still hot. Then immediately close the jars with the lids and place up-side-down to cool. This method will draw the air from the jars so that your Sambal can be stored for long periods and un-refridgerated.


This sweet and spicy relish is a condiment that goes well with almost any type of food. Sambal will enrich a simple dish and make perfect dishes even better.

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