Sweet Sambal Tumis

Sweet Sambal Tumis


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About this recipe: Today I would like to share this sweet sambal tumis (improved version) that I prepared for a recent CNY potluck party held at my house..I always prefer sambal tumis (means slow stirring in Malay) with a slightly sweet taste.

nasilemaklover Johor, Malaysia


  • 100g 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)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup cooking oil
  • 40g tamarind pulp , add 1/4cup water to become assam water, discard the seeds
  • 50g sugar or palm sugar (gula Melaka)
  • 1 tsp 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 it is a smooth paste.
  4. Pour chili paste into a big wok, stir fry for 5-10mins over medium low heat until it becomes a slightly dried paste (Do not add oil at this time so as to avoid oil spillage)
  5. Now add in cooking oil, continue stirring (tumis) over low heat for 30-40mins. The chili paste will turn darker and the oil will be separated after 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.


This basic sambal tumis is very versatile, you can use it to prepare the following dishes:- 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

See it on my blog

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