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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sweet sambal tumis, a CNY potluck

Today i would like to share this sweet sambal tumis (improve version from here) that i prepared for a recent CNY potluck party held at my house..I always prefer sambal tumis (mean slow stirring in Malay) with slightly sweet taste.

Sweet sambal tumis, a CNY potluck

These are the foods that I prepared
1. Nasi Lemak with sweet sambal ikan bilis (just cook fried ikan bilis paste and onion with this sweet sambal tumis)
2. sambal udang (just cook this sweet sambal tumis with some chopped garlic, prawn and onion),
3. fragrant fried chicken with lemongrass and spices (this time i added more lemongrass and omit curry leaves)
4. Lychee Lime Soda drink (not in the picture)..

I love the 2 tier cake stand given by Jane and I use it to serve the Nasi Lemak's condiments, peanuts, ikan bilis, cucumber, hard-boiled eggs, and stir fried kangkung.

Sweet sambal tumis, a CNY potluck

These were the bloggers came and their yummy foods:-

1. Lena (Frozen Wings)- sweet sour crabs, radish cake and pandan kuih.
2. Veronica (Quay Po's cooks) -Tuna Cheese Mini Toast, Swedish Wedding Balls and cauliflower salad
3. Swee San (The Sweet Spot)- Pistachio Blackberry Cake and Plum Frangipanne Tart
4. Sharon (Feats and Feasts) - Pork Stuffed Youtiao and Apple Cabbage Slaw
5. Wendy ( Table for 2 or more)- beef rendang, Kumquat Almond Tea Cakes and Goiabinhas

Sorry, i forgot to include ReeseKitchen (she reminded me ^_^) who did not manage to attend this portluck party due to personal reason, but she was so kind to contribute salted paprika grilled chicken wings (forgot to take picture)..

Sweet sambal tumis, a CNY potluck

Veron (Quay Po) serving us nasi lemak ^_^

Sweet sambal tumis, a CNY potluck

Now come to the sambal tumis recipe. I remembered my Malay friend told me to add more cooking oil when tumis sambal and need long stirring, so this time i added 3/4cup cooking oil to cook this sambal for an hour.

Sweet sambal tumis, a CNY potluck

Sweet sambal tumis, a CNY potluck

Also i checked with a Malay makcik who selling nasi lemak, she use bawang Rose (Rose shallots) to cook sambal

bawang Rose


If you don't like too sweet sambal, you can reduce the amount of sugar..
Latest update- Actually i cooked with 1 cup of cooking oil, but i only mentioned 3/4cup of oil in below recipe because i feel the amount of oil is a bit too much. After cooked for few times, i think 1 cup of oil just nice..so you choice of preference, less oil or more oil...
Updated on 27th Nov 2012-if you intend to make extra sambal and keep in freezer for later usage, I suggest not to add in "tamarind pulp" as not all recipes requires to add tamarind..
Updated on 6th Apr 2013- cooking oil increased to 1 cup to 2 cups...adjust accordingly..

Sweet Sambal Tumis
(recipe source: by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover)

Sweet sambal tumis, a CNY potluck100g dried chilies
100g fresh red chilies
10g bird’s eye chilies
250g shallots (I use Rose shallots, bawang Rose)
1 big onion
10g ginger
15g galangal (blue ginger)
30g garlic
15g belacan (shrimp paste)

1 cup to 2 cups of cooking oil **updated on 06 Apr 2013

40g tamarind pulp , add 1/4cup water to become assam water, discard the seeds
50g sugar or palm sugar (gula Melaka)
1tsp salt

1. Use a scissor to discard dried chili’s head and cut into 2-3pcs and boil in hot water for 5mins. Drain and discard the chili seeds if you want less spicy.
2. Toast belacan in a frying pan, chopping and break it up till powdery and aromatic.
3. Blend dried chili, fresh chili, shallots, big onion, ginger, galangal and toasted belacan with 1/4cup of water till smooth paste.
4. Pour chili paste into a big wok, stir fry for 5-10mins over medium low heat until slightly dried paste (By not adding oil at this time as to avoid oil spill)
5. Now add in cooking oil, continue stirring (tumis) over low heat for 30-40mins. The chili paste will turn darker, light and oil separated after long stirring.
6. Add in assam water, salt and sugar, continue stirring (tumis) for 5-10mins.
7. Leave to cool before storing in the fridge or freeze in small containers for later use.

Sweet sambal tumis, a CNY potluck

You may also visit two of my blogger friends who also cook a good sambal,  Tee Kitchen and Mummy I can cook .

This basic sambal tumis is very versatile, you can use it to prepare the followings dishes that i can think of:-

1. sambal ikan bilis (anchovies)- just deep fried ikan bilis, pound into paste and add into sambal tumis.
2. sambal "Hae Bi" (dried shrimps)-pound dried shrimps into paste and add into sambal tumis
3. sambal sotong (squid)
4. sambal udang (prawn) or Assam prawn
5. sambal goreng tempe
6. Mamak style mee goreng
7. Malay style meehoon goreng
8. Laksa
9. sambal petai
10. sambal ikan (fish) or Assam fish
11. Nasi goreng
and etc


Ana Regalado said...

I'm telling myself to make some sambal for quiet sometime now and when I saw this deliciousness , I'm gonna make it ASAP hahaha I'll let you know how it will turn out :D Gotta choose some of the variations you listed ;) Anyway , the food that you prepared really looks scrumptious , so much yummy dishes to choose from !!! Gorgeous photos as always , Sonia !

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Wah meriahnya.

Noob Cook said...

nothing beats home-made sambal!!

Cass @ 揾到食 said...

Looks yummy! I will try it after clear all the cny leftover,hahaha!

WendyinKK said...

Thanks for the hospitality!
Your house is very nice and comfy.

Come up north next time ok. :)

Simple Person said...

it is so red n looks spicy..
I bet it is very delicious...
I think u could open up a chinese nasi lemak stall.... LOL...

ahteekitchen said...

yoo...all the nice foods on the table! salivating......

ReeseKitchen said...

Ehh....where's my grill chicken wings huh???...haha! Just wondering...LOL

kitchen flavours said...

Everything looks delicious! Your sambal looks so good! I must "kah fun"!!

Jes's Deli Corner said...

Thanks for the recipe..will try to cook with ikan bilis. The potluck so delicious leh

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Oh I love sweet samba! That spread of delicious food is definitely worth gaining a few pounds! Yum!

3 hungry tummies said...

Another feast! Love to be there Sonia :)
Beautiful sambal you have there!

Christine's Pantry said...

Everything looks good. Sounds like a great potluck party.

ann low said...

Sonia, I know you're very good in making nasi lemak and sambal chilli. Thanks for sharing this recipe :)

Sharon @ Feats of Feasts said...

My husband really loves nasi lemak but i dun know how to make the sambal. Now i got the recipe!!! Since i didn't take any pics of the pot luck, im linking it back your blog and wendy's. Hope that's okay.....

Yummy Bakes said...

Your sambal looks very tempting. Pop over when you have time, please.

Elin said...

Sonia..thanks for sharing this sambal...been looking for this recipe for sometime. Wil Boar loves the sweet sambal. Glad you all had a wonderful time together :)

Quay Po Cooks said...

Sonia, I just had the last bit of your sambal!! Thanks for the recipe. I have to make this. SO SO GOOD!!

Sharon, you can get the photos from my post on our lunch. It is up today:D

Reese, I took a photo of your wings!! Go see my post okay? They are very delicious. Thanks!

~仪仪妈咪~ said...

wah wah wah ~~~ i like sambal ^^

Dumpling Love said...

All that food has me salivating, Sonia! I've always wanted to try making sambal but most of my family cannot take chilli =(

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

How cool is that to meet with bloggers! I only know Veron from the list, but so happy to see her there. =) Everything looks delicious. I wish I could be there!!

鲸鱼蓝蓝蓝 said...


Amelia said...

Hi Sonia, your sambal look extremely good. Wonderful gathering and all the food look so delicious and tempting. Have a nice day.

lena said...

sonia, if you never post this recipe of your sambal, i'm going to email you for the recipe! if i dont make this sambal, i must slap myself!

"Simplifried" said...

Sonia, some of your sambal made it to my house via Quay Po. Wow, cili heaven. The beef rendang was a killer also. I liked both so much that I had nasi lemak twice the next day (then cannot eat for the next two days)...but it was worth it. Saludo!

Sherleen.T said...

i have bookmarked your sambal recipe...must taste superb...:)
so much fun to have friends gathered and enjoyed all the yummy homemade food yeah...^^

ping said...

I love this version of sweet sambal. Bookmarked! What fun and what a feast!

Unknown said...

I miss Malaysia-style nasi lemak.... In Singapore, most of the nasi lemak with otah/fried chicken/fried fish, I just want a simple ones, hard-boil egg with few slices of cucumber and sambal ikan bilis

Li Shuan said...

不愧是Nasi Lemak Lover. Wow, it was a great potluck dunner. Lots of delicious food on that day. Thanks for sharing the great sambal recipe.

FiSh said...

a sweet one must have tasted really good and it's unusual as compared to the spicy one :)

Latest: Aftermath of CNY; What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Hi Sonia,

How long can the sambal be kept in the fridge?

Thanks & Regards,

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

JC, usually I don't keep in the fridge instead I stall in few small plastic containers and store in the freezer. So it is fast to defrost. I guess if you want to keep in the fridge, two weeks should be ok.

Anonymous said...

wonderful recipe and what a spread!

ICook4Fun said...

Thanks for sharing your sambal recipe with us. I can't wait to try it out as I like my sambal on the sweeter side too. I have yet to see any fresh red chili in the supermarket so I have to wait for it to be in season.

Shu Han said...

wow thanks for sharing your sambal recipe! it is quite similar to my one, i use gula melaka for that caramel sweetness! but dont think i can find rose shallots here ):

Somewhere in Singapore said...

All the foods are so tempting!!!

Little Inbox said...

Hmm...this is so delicious!

Pete said...

eat with nasi lemak....mmmmm, shiok!

sean said...



Little Corner of Mine said...

What a spread! The food look delicious. I also like the sambal tumis sweet.

Jane Chew said...

Friend, happy to know that u like the small gift. I bought 3 of this. Hehe... Now I still have 2 with me. Last Sunday I did nasi lemak for my friends too. If I saw ur sambal Tunis sure I will try out ur recipe. Anyway, I still can have a go next week. More parties to go. Hehe... Thanks.

cikmanggis said...

I suka sambal yang manis dan pedas.Wah banyaknya makanan:)..oh yes Have you receive my letter & Passion fruit seeds?

Nadji said...

Je ne connais pas. Une recette délicieuse. Je note.
A très bientôt

irene myme said...



Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Cry! I missed this! I wish I could have made it!

tinyskillet said...

Great recipe it looks great...well...actually all the food looks fantastic1...even Reese's chicken wings I saw on Quay Po Cook's. :) What a nice time to meet up with other bloggers. I wish I was closer!

Anonymous said...

Nothing can beat home made sambal-balinesefoodie.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the recipe. It was absolutely perfect! I have always had a problem making sambal...too sweet, too salty, too spicy, too sour..etc. Very happy to have stumbled on your recipe!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sonia,

Thanks for sharing this wonderful sambal recipe. I just cooked it yesterday but my sambal didn't reach the 'pecah minyak' stage and the oil didn't separate although I have stir fried it over med low heat for 1 hour 15 mins. Do you have any idea what went wrong?

Best regards,

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Elizabeth, Thanks for trying out. I add a lot of oil in this recipe, so actually we can't really see the "pecah minyak" stage but instead you will feel it turned quite light and easy to stir after long stirring..you stir for 1hour++ and you have a good sambal already..don't worry about "pecah minyak" stage..

mary khoo said...

I tried this recipe but it doesn't turn out watery like yours. Mine is like totally dry. Am I doing something wrong?

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Mary, if you cook with 3/4cup of cooking oil, now i suggest you to cook with 1 cup, then you should get the result as per mine. See my latest update in this post.

Simplyfood said...

Lovely spicy sauce, I have made something similar with out shrimp paste as I am vegetarian.

Caca said...

cooking sambal is like making kaya, very time consuming. However, the result is fabulous. I appreciate these two slow cooking food.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. I do like how you are so specific with the measurements of the ingredients, as a new cook,it really helps.I am following you for sure!

Vijay said...

I just tried your sambal- very nice indeed. Thanks.

Vijay said...

I just tried your sambal- very nice indeed. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for the receipe.. yesterday i make it ! And really delicious ! Frst time i cook and my husband(japanese), he love it very much he said.. 'remember to your kampung'


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe....looks very yummy.
Just wondering how many servings is the recipe for?

June Tan said...

Hi. I chance upon your sumptious spread of dishes when I was googling for storage of homecooked sambal. AND I discovered you even shared your SOOO. . . GOOD sambal recipe. Somehow I regretted not discovering your blog earlier. I found a sambal recipe from a magazine and tried out today for the first time. Now I can't wait to finish mine and try your recipe. Thank you.

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JaCe said...

Hi Sonia,

I would like to ask if, i do not have tamarind pulp for the Sweet sambal tumis. can i subtitube with other ingredient or left this ingredient out ?

Hope to hear from you soon.


Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

Jace, yes you can omit it but adjust the sugar accordingly .

JaCe said...

Dear Sonia,

thank you for your reply.

I can't wait to try out :)

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