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Sambal Tumis (Fried Chilli Paste)

Sambal Tumis Recipe (Fried Sambal)

The quantities stated in the recipe are for using sambal tumis as a base sauce for cooking. If you are using the fried sambal as a condiment, do season to taste according to your preference. For example, add salt or home-made ikan bilis powder to taste, and double the amount of assam pulp.

Check out more tips and pictures on the previous page.



  • 1/4 cup or a small appropriate amount of olive or vegetable oil for binding (A) to a smooth paste during processing or pounding
  • 3/4 cup olive or vegetable oil for frying the sambal paste
  • “assam” (tamarind) solution dissolve 25 grams assam pulp in 1/2 cup water; liquid strained
  • 1 tsp salt to taste
  • 50 grams gula melaka (palm sugar; may use brown sugar) to taste

(A) Sambal Paste

  • 75 g dried red chilli cut to smaller sections, deseeded (to taste) and soaked in bowl of hot water for 20 minutes to soften; drained
  • 75 g or four finger-length red chilli deseeded
  • 250 grams peeled shallots
  • 1 red onion peeled
  • 8 cloves garlic peeled
  • 20g belacan (shrimp paste) toasted in dry pan or toaster oven until crumbly and powdery


  1. Process or pound (A) until it becomes a smooth paste, adding some oil along the way to bind the ingredients together.
  2. Heat oil and add sambal paste into wok. Stir fry until the sambal starts to turn a deeper red, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add tamarind juice, salt and gula melaka. Cook for another 20 minutes, stirring constantly. By this time, the oil should be separated from the chilli.
  4. Store in air-tight containers in the fridge for about 2 weeks, or in the freezer for 3 months.
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27 comments on “Sambal Tumis (Fried Chilli Paste)”

  1. Pingback: Spice spice baby: Let’s make sambal chilli! | Living Out Loud

  2. The recipe seems good. Got to try it out.

  3. Just made this sambas Tumis.  Had to substitute dark brown sugar for gula malacca. Used lemon juice instead of Assam.  Added some white sugar to sweeten a little. On the whole an excellent recipe.  Love my sambal ikan belis, egg sambal and my Nasi Lemak. Thank you for your recipe.. 

  4. Pingback: Sambal Tumis (Fried Chilli Paste) – Yamstick

  5. Hi, Have made this a couple of times before and it was fantastic. However, since everyone wants a portion I decided to triple the recipe! Unfortunately I also tripled the water for the assam. So now the sambal is quite watery, not spicy enough and a bit bitter.
    Any suggestions as to what I can do to rectify this? All my friends are waiting for their share!!
    I would like it to be thicker, spicier and not so bitter!!

    Please Help!!

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