We love Sambal Manis, but recently the shop we’d found it in went out of business – so I had to make my own. Sambal Manis is sweeter, milder, and with a sweet-sour taste, compared to Sambal Oelek / Ulek (there are a variety of spellings), which is basically straight chili paste. I personally have an aversion to handling raw chillies ever since I nearly ended up in hospital to have my eyes flushed, while handling them in a Mexican restaurant I worked at! So I used the Sambal Oelek as a basis. I searched online for recipes, and there are quite a few, but none were very specific as far as proportions with prepared Oelek. I experimented and noted what I did, and came up with a keeper! It requires a few unusual ingredients, all of which I just happened to have as I do a lot of international cooking. But if you want to make this yourself, just look for the ingredients in a good international shop, or an Asian supermarket. It’s well worth it if you like to jazz up your meals with a bit of spicy flavour!
Homemade Sambal Manis
50 gr. Sambal Oelek /Ulek
4 Tbs. coconut sugar or palm sugar
2 tsp. Tamarind paste*
1/2 – 1 tsp. salt
Combine well in a non-reactive bowl (glass), making sure the sugar is mixed in well (it tends to be quite compact). Store in a glass jar in the fridge, and enjoy! Make sure you wash any utensils, as well as your hands, thoroughly before touching any sensitive body parts such as anywhere near your eyes!
* If you want more sour than sweet, you could add a bit more tamarind paste.