Sambal Tomat

Sambal may not be all that well known over here in North America, but this condiment is extremely popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and more. There are many different variations on sambal and a number of weeks ago I shared Sambal Oelek. That version of sambal is easily the most popular version here in Canada and I have bought it many times in local grocery stores. Very simple to make, sambal oelek highlights red chili peppers by pounding them in a mortar and pestle.

Today, I want to share another sambal, this one is both more complicated and has more ingredients. Sambal tomat, as the name would suggest, has tomatoes. I use cherry tomatoes or campari, but really any one would work. Just make sure that they are fully ripe and nice and red. Shallots, garlic and lime juice are also part of this condiment and a little bit of sugar gives it a hint of sweetness. Not as spicy as sambal oelek, this version has a richer and far more complex flavor and it is wonderful on rice, noodles, grilled meat, in soup and more!

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I pulse all the ingredients in a food processor to get an even, paste like consistency. It is not necessary to have it fully pureed, just broken down fairly fine.

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Cook the mixture in a stir fry pan or skillet for close to 30 minutes. This draws all the flavors together and creates a wonderful sweet heat in the sambal. Be careful it does not stick to the bottom of the pan, so it will be necessary to stir it often. Store it in the fridge for a week.

Sambal Tomat

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5 from 1 vote

Sambal Tomat

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Author Steve Cylka


  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 3 chili peppers
  • 2 shallots , peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • lime juice
  • 2 tbsp oil


  • Add all ingredients except the oil to a food processor. Pulse until the vegetables are finely chopped.
  • Heat oil in a stir fry pan or skillet on medium heat.
  • Add the sambal mixture and cook for 20-30 minutes stirring often. The mixture will begin to caramelize and will deepen red in color.
  • Remove from heat and store in the fridge for up to a week.

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About Steve Cylka

Steve is the author of The Black Peppercorn. He is a recipe developer and food photographer. His recipes have been featured on websites like Bradley Smoker, Times Picayune, Buzzfeed, and Basil & Salt. He has also authored and co-authored a couple cookbooks.

One comment

  1. I love pastes like this!! This one is making me drool for sure. 🙂

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