Rose’s Kitchen

Sambal Chilli For Nasi Lemak


500 gm chilli paste

250 gm shallots

2 big onions

1/2 cup cooking oil

3 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp gula melaka

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 piece of belachan

1/2 tbsp assam juice


1. Slice shallots and big onions thinly.

2. Heat cooking oil and fry sliced shallots and big onions till fragrant.

3. Add in chilli paste and belachan and fry till thick about 1/2 hr.

4. Finally add sugar, gula melaka, assam juice and salt to taste.


April 19, 2006 - Posted by | Pickles and Dips


  1. Hi Rose,

    Thank you for this sambal chilli for nasi lemak recipe. i was searching all over for a good sambal for my nasi lemak as my hubby and kids does’nt like their fried anchovies mixed with sambal. I will try some of your other recipes too.

    Comment by jo | June 27, 2008 | Reply

  2. Hi Auntie,
    Thankyou for your recipes. I would like clarification on a couple of things. Do you make the chilli paste fresh or is it from a jar?

    Also approx how much belacan is used in this recipe in tbsp?

    Best Wishes.

    Comment by jack | July 11, 2008 | Reply

  3. Hello Aunty Rose,

    I am a Malaysian living in Australia at the moment and I totally love your blog. I am grateful that you are sharing your mouth watering recipes. It has been very comforting to be able to cook local Malaysian food at times when I get homesick. I find your recipes easy to follow and my sambal chilli turned out great at first attempt though a little too spicy as I did not remove the seeds from the dried chillies.

    I have added a link on my blog to yours for the convenience of my friends. I hope that it is ok, if not, please let me know and I will remove it.

    Comment by Stephanie | September 22, 2008 | Reply

  4. Dear Rose,

    I am a Malaysian living in UK. I love char kuay teow but just wondering how to make the chilli paste for it. Do you grind dried chillies? I would appreciate the recipe for the chilli paste pls.

    Comment by Grace | October 4, 2008 | Reply

  5. Auntie Rose, I have been searching for the recipe of the good sambal chilli. Please inform how to do the chilli paste. Thank you

    Comment by Hendry | October 8, 2008 | Reply

  6. Auntie Rose, please let me know how to make the chilli paste and how much or how big is 1/4 piece of belachan?

    Comment by Ping | October 8, 2008 | Reply

  7. Auntie Rose, what’s the brand of the chilli paste to use? As I am living in Victoria, Australia and going to Malaysia during CNY holiday, is there any chance to attend your cooking class over that period. Wishing you A Happy and Prosperous New Year. Thank you.

    Comment by Lily Chua | January 18, 2009 | Reply

  8. Dear Rose

    How do you make the chilli paste for Nasi Lemak? Do you just soak the dried chilli and blend it? If yes, what is the ratio of dried chilli and water?

    Thank you


    Comment by Clarissa | March 10, 2009 | Reply

  9. Chilli Paste- I normally soak a bunch of dried chillies in boiled water (hot/warm)for about 5 minutes to soften it up, remove and blend it with some garlic and a pinch of salt. Incidentally, I also use the same chilli paste to spice up my Char Kuew Teow.

    Comment by Micheal | April 19, 2009 | Reply

    • Hi Micheal,
      Thanks for sharing. God bless.

      Comment by rose | April 22, 2009 | Reply

  10. Hi Rose,

    I made nasi lemak for the first time this week and it turned out quite well.

    I had a problem though: the chilli in the sambal tasted very spicy/ raw even after cooking for an hour. I used Michael’s recipe to make the chilli paste (thanks, Michael), using only 8 dried chillis, minus the seeds. How can I tone the spiciness down?

    Anita, HK.

    Comment by Anita | June 13, 2009 | Reply

    • Boiling the dried chillies (minus the seeds) for approximately 30 mins – 40 mins before putting ’em in the blender, helps to reduce the spiciness.

      Nora, UAE

      Comment by Nora | November 17, 2009 | Reply

      • You can add (boiling) tomato and reduce the quantity of chilies. It will the sambal less spicy

        Comment by Andy | December 12, 2010

  11. My Dear Rose
    Thank you for all these great recipes . We are so globalized nowadays. I live in Scotland and very seldom get to eat traditional food although I love and miss them. THANK YOU FOR SHARING AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

    Comment by Linda | July 24, 2009 | Reply

  12. Nice nasi lemak sambal recipe. Thks for sharing!

    Comment by peteformation | October 12, 2009 | Reply

  13. Hi Rose,

    Its really wonderful to see your webpage with filledup with mouthwatering recipes.

    Wel basically am a Singapore now residing in Finland where
    even to get some groceries are not accessable,but surviving.

    If you dont mind can you post me the recipe of chinese carrot cake.Woul dlike to know. Hope to see your email and have a God Gift Health to you

    ann Suhonen

    Comment by ann suhonen | July 11, 2010 | Reply

  14. Thanks, Nora and Andy. Sambal is perfect now 🙂

    Comment by Anita | April 28, 2011 | Reply

  15. Hi, boil a handful of dried chiily(cut into some pieces & some of seeds removed)for 15 mins.Wash &blend into paste &freeze in ice trays.Transfer cubes into ziplock bags & freeze. Chilly paste ready .Can be used frozen.

    Comment by Naga | January 6, 2012 | Reply

  16. Hi….pity u all friend for the very spicy ‘sambal’. U can try this simple recipe as well…… 3 tablespoons of chilli paste ( boil dried seedless chilies, drain & blend), 2 shallots, 3 pieces of garlics, 1/2 cm of ‘belacan’, 2 tablespoons of thick tamarind jus, >< 4 persons…….happy trying…..

    Comment by aspadi aswan | May 10, 2012 | Reply

  17. actually 500gm chilli paste was too much for that amount of sambal… need only about 3 tablespoon of it. tq

    Comment by liza | May 10, 2012 | Reply

  18. One of the best Nyonya recipes I’ve seen and tried. Thanks Rose!

    Comment by Anonymous | August 25, 2012 | Reply

  19. hi
    may i know what is Assam Juice? could i get it from the supermarket?
    thanks.. ^^

    Comment by Anonymous | February 21, 2013 | Reply

    • tamarind

      Comment by Lynica | December 3, 2013 | Reply

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