There is nothing more Indonesian than this, we called it “Terong-tempe sambal penyet” or Egg plant and tempe squeezed in sambal. Yumm.. spicy sunday morning.

Indonesian have many version of sambal, but this are the most simple, easy and versatile one. For any leftover, keep it in a fridge and it would be suitable for Indonesian nasi goreng, Indonesian mie goreng, sambal goreng with tempe, tofu or potatoes as a main ingredient . Most of the time, I made in big batch and store most of them in a fridge.

Sambal always able to awaken my appetite, not saying that I don’t like eating, sometime when I really get bored and don’t want to eat anything complicated, or don’t have any energy to cooked one (the complicated one), sambal will always there and work for me. Only sambal and warm rice, with rice cracker too, I feel so rich hahaha, it is so easy and cheap to please me.

Here are the recipe

Basic Indonesian sambal


  • 3 medium shallot, roughly slice it
  • 2 garlic, roughly slice it
  • 1 small ripe tomatoes roma (any tomatoes  with thin flesh), quartered.
  • 1-2 red chili (or any amount depend on your spicy palette, deseed or keep the seed, do what you prefer), slice
  • 2-3 hot bird eyes chilli (or omit this), slice
  • 2 tbs of vegetable oil
  • I tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

How to

  • In medium pan and medium heat put inside 1 tbs oil and put the chili, garlic, shallot in, fried them until soft and slightly brown.
  • Take them out and put it in pestle and mortal.
  • Put inside remaining oil and tomatoes into the pan on medium heat, fried until the edge of the tomatoes are golden and I dare you to pushed it into slightly burn.
  • While waiting the tomatoes golden, grind the garlic, shallot and chili roughly, season with salt and sugar.
  • Lastly, after the tomatoes are golden put it inside of pestle and mortar, grind roughly and thoroughly together with the other ingredient. 
  • And it is done.

For fried tempe, I dried rub the tempe with dried garlic, dried parsley and salt, left it for 10-15 minute then fried it in hot oil until golden.

For the eggplants, 1 medium eggplant, slice it then just fried it 1-2 tbs of oil until it burn and smokey.

Just squeeze them in the sambal, and enjoy it with lettuce or cucumber and most importantly warm steam rice . I serve them with my favourite salad leafy green rocket (arugula) which I grow in my tiny window sill.

Traditionally Indonesian also eat them with things call “Lalap”, which is basically bunch of raw vegetable. Traditional Indonesian are healthy, some said we will survive living on jungle because we eat a lot of leafy green hahaha. It is only a joke though.

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