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Sambal Chicken

Spicy Sambal Chicken has succulent pieces of chicken cooked in a spicy aromatic sauce which is filled with lemon grass, coconut and chillies.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main
Cuisine Malaysian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 320 kcal


For Sambal:

  • Small onion - 10
  • Onion - 1 chopped
  • Dry Red Chillies - 10 to 15
  • Ginger - 1 small pieces
  • Garlic - 6
  • Lemon Grass - 1
  • Salt to taste
  • Palm Sugar - 4 tblsp
  • Tamarind paste - 2 tblsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  • Oil - ¼ cup

For Chicken Sambal:

  • Sambal - 1 cup
  • Boneless chicken - ½ kg
  • Coconut Milk - 1 cup
  • Coconut - ¼ cup toasted
  • Cinnamon / Pattai - 1 piece
  • Cardamom / Yelakai - 4
  • Cloves / Krambu - 4
  • Star anise - 1
  • Lemon grass - 2
  • Kaffir lime leaves - 2


  • Grind all ingredients given for sambal except tamarind and jaggery to a smooth paste.
  • Heat oil in a kadai. Add in the ground masala and cook for 5 mins or so.
  • Now add in jaggery and tamarind and mix well.
  • Cover and cook till oil separates and the sambal is thick.
  • You can remove the sambal to a jar and store in fridge till needed.
  • Now let's make sambal chicken.
  • Take one cup sambal in a kadai. Add in whole spices and stir well.
  • Now add in chicken and stir fry for a min.
  • Now cover and cook for 5 mins.
  • Add in kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk and cook for 10 mins.
  • Add in toasted coconut and mix well.
  • Cook for few more mins.
  • Serve.


1)After the sambal is cooked, ladle as much of the hot sauce as you want onto your main dish or rice. The rest of the sambal should cool before storing in fridge or freezer.
2)The frozen sambal will keep for 2 to 3 months. It's best to freeze it in smaller containers and take out what you need for each meal.
3)Most of the ingredients can be found at Asian markets or high-quality grocery stores with a robust international foods aisle.
4)Instead of shallots, you can use small red onions.
5)In place of the dried chilies, add chilli powder.
6)If fresh turmeric is unavailable, use turmeric powder.
7)If galangal is difficult to find you can use a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger.
Instead of tamarind paste, use tamarind juice instead.
Nutrition Facts
Sambal Chicken
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 320
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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