Sambal is essential!

Indonesian people rarely eat a meal or a savory snack without a variety of Sambal (spicy paste, usually including chilies, a mix of spices, fruits, vegetables or peanuts) or sauce. In traditional Indonesian cuisine these sambal varieties are usually made using the traditional stone pestle and mortar, where the ingredients are gradually pasted and mixed, but for you at home who may not want to put in some elbow grease, you can make these using a food processor/blender.

Once you go to Bali, you will taste many varieties of sambals with the different foods you eat there, and after a while, you too get hooked up on the flavors that these sauces/pastes/dips pack into the food. They definitely lift up the food, and add much depth, some heat and make the food way more interesting. Even with steamed rice, the sambal turns it into a treat. I will share a variety of Sambals for you to try at home so make sure to give them a try.

This Sambal Kacang or peanut satay dip is used to accompany grilled meats, most famous of which the chicken satay, however, also served with beef, mutton and other meats. It is also used in salad dressings and as dip next to shrimp crackers.. This is how you can make it at home.

PS this sambal will keep for months in an airtight container in the fridge, ready to use at any time. It will give you about 1.5 cups


Serves: 6 Cook Time: 10-20mins

50g raw, unsalted peanuts, shelled and peeled

6 garlic cloves

1 stalk lemon grass (use the inner part), peeled and minced

2 tsbp peanut oil

500 ml coconut milk

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp sugar

Toast the peanuts, until browned.

Using a pestle & mortar or food processor, grind the roasted peanuts, garlic cloves and lemongrass until very smooth.

Place the paste in a hot skillet with the peanut oil and saute for a minute or two over medium heat. The paste must become fragrant and golden.

Add the coconut milk, cayenne pepper, salt and sugar, stirring until all is thoroughly mixed. Allow the mixture to boil, then turn off the heat.

Cool completely and use.


For storage, place in a clean airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 months.

Planning to visit Bali?

Here are some useful Links:

Bali Villa Finder

Best Bali Villas, where you will want to stay forever!

Bali Luxury Villas

Best Backpacking Hostels in Bali


We stayed in Villa Surgawi, in cemagi, and I absolutely recommend it (see photos carousel of the villa in this post intro). The villa is fully serviced, with a pool, spa, Gym, dedicated TV room, terraces and a rooftop overlooking the ocean, the villa has ocean view from all levels. It is surrounded by rice fields walking distance from the beach. Comes with a villa manager, private chef, driver and housekeeping. We enjoyed it fully and recommend it.


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