• Prep Time 20 minutes
  • Cook Time 25 minutes
  • Serving For 4-5 people
  • Difficulty Easy

Recipe Description

Chicken sambal is a Malaysian favourite and there are many variations towards it depending on makers ethnic and culture background. The Malays use the belacan as an ingredient while the Chinese go mild with the chilies and the Indians use cinnamon to fragrant the sambal sauce. Each household in Malaysia serves its very own version of Chicken Sambal and all of them are unique in their own ways; these versions are still a yum even though it may taste differently! I have been making chicken sambal since I was 13 and I have tried various recipes and combinations but this one here is my favourite. It is an adaption, but I have added my very own twists to it and elevated the recipe to my taste and liking.  My family loves this dish and it has been a Sunday staple for us. The dish goes well with butter/ghee fragrant rice and a good amount of cold cucumber Raita, and I will be sharing the recipe for the rice and Raita soon.

**The spicier the chili, the better the sambal.

Recipe Ingredient

  • 10 Shallot bulbs
  • 6 Garlic cloves
  • 2 Inches of Ginger
  • 2 stalks of Lemongrass
  • 2 Candle nuts (optional)
  • 1 large Yellow Onion
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 tablespoon of thick Coconut Milk
  • 1 tablespoon of Black Sugar / Brown Sugar (optional)
  • 1 whole Chicken (in parts)
  • 1 tablespoon of Turmeric Powder
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • 25-30 dry Red Chilies
  • Screw Pine leaves
  • 150ml of Water


  1. Clean the chicken parts and season it with salt, pepper and turmeric powder. Leave to marinate for 20-30 minutes.
  2. While the chicken marinates, blend shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and candle nuts finely. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the dry red chilies by cutting it with scissors and boil in water for approximately 3-5 minutes. Drained water and give a quick water wash to avoid bitter taste. Blend chilies as fine as possible.
  4. Slice yellow onion and dice tomato. Set it aside too.
  5. Heat enough oil to fry the marinated chicken to semi-fried. Set it aside for later to be mixed with the sambal sauce.
  6. After frying the chicken, use the same oil (reduce oil quantity to suitable amount to cook the sambal) and add in the finely blended ingredients. Stir until the colour start to turn brown & fragrant.
  7. Add in the blended dried red chili paste and let it cook till the oil afloat, then add in diced tomatoes. Pour in the 150 ml of water.
  8. Once tomato is soft, add in sliced onions and Screw pine leaves.
  9. After 5 minutes, add semi-fried chicken into the pan and let it simmer with the sambal for a few minutes until the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
  10. Stir in with coconut milk and let it further simmer for another 5 minutes.
  11. Sugar can be added for a sweeter sambal. (optional)
  12. Voila! Dish is ready to be served.

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