Coconut and red chili sambal


Sambal is a common table condiment in South Indian households. Adjust the number of red chili peppers that you use at your discretion, as prepared sambal chili paste is quite spicy on its own.

Sambal chili paste is found in most Asian markets in the United States.


        3 cups (500 g) shredded, unsweetened coconut (frozen, reconstituted dried or freshly grated).

        2–3 dried red chili peppers, totaste, 1 tablespoon prepared sambal chili paste.

        2-in (5-cm) piece peeled and sliced fresh ginger, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.

        1 cup (250 g) plain yogurt, 1 cup (40 g) coarsely-chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro).

        Salt, to taste.


        1 tablespoon oil

        1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

        2 tablespoons minced fresh curry leaves.


Step 1:

Blend the coconut, red chili peppers, sambal chili paste and ginger in a blender or food processor until minced.

Step 2:

Add the lemon juice, yogurt, and fresh coriander leaves, and blend again, scraping the mixture from the sides with a spatula until it becomes very smooth. Add the salt and transfer to a serving bowl.

Step 3:

Make the garnish: heat the oil in a small non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat and add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Lower the heat and cover until the spluttering subsides. Add to the sambal and stir lightly. Serve, or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Food: Coconut and red chili sambal

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