On Sunday, August 8, 2011, the Bali Safari and Marine Park held a "Chili Festival" that featured nearly 300 types of sambal – the essential condiment at every Indonesian meal, including breakfast.
Food (and life) in Indonesia without sambal would be boring. The central essential main ingredient in sambal is one of the many varieties of spicy chilies found in the archipelago combined with any of a number of accompanying ingredients that can be chopped, sliced, pulverized and sometimes fried.
The Chili Festival was the third time the park sponsored such an event.
The Festival was opened by the regent of Gianyar, Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati (Cok Ace), and the General Manager of the Bali Safari and Marine Park Hans Manasang.
360 participants, many coming from leading women’s organization on the island, made delicious mouth-watering sambal.
Here’s some of our favorite sambals:
Sambal Terasi – known as belacan in Malaysia, the addition of terasi (fermented shrimp paste) to green peppers seasoned with sugar, salt, lime and (optional) lime juice. Eaten raw, one variation includes pulverized tomatoes.
Sambal Asam – a close cousin to Sambal Terasi but with a piquant quality imparted by the addition of tamarind.
Sambal Kacang – peanuts, chili, garlic, shallots, sugar and salts are blended for this sambal often served with vegetable, fermented bean curd and tofu.
Sambal Bajak – this is a fried sambal using red peppers, oil, garlic, terasi (fermented shrimp paste) and candlenuts.
Sambal Pencit – excellent with seafood, it’s the recipe for sambal terasi with unripe shredded mango added to the mix.
Sambal Lada Ijo – originating from West Sumatra, this distinctive green-colored sambal uses hot green chilies, green tomatoes, shallot and other spices that are stir-fried.
Sambal Teri Lado – also from West Sumatra – added to a foundation of chili peppers are tomatoes, shallot, spices and small dried salted fish.
Sambal Durian – a sambal recipe that adds a distinctive twist in the used of fermented durian.
Sambal Gandaria – Sambal terasi using a local fruit gandaria.
Sambal daun Mangga Muda – Sambal Terasi to which very young mango leaves are added.
Sambal Balado – another special sambal from West Sumatra. Green chiies, garlic, shallot, tomatoes, salt, lime juice are all sautéed in oil.
Sambal Tumis – chilies fried with terasi (shrimp paste), onions, garlic, tamarind juice. This fried sambal is often refried with squid (sambal cumi), water spinach (Sambal kangkung) or boiled eggs (sambal telur).
Sambal Kemiri – Sambal Terasi to which candlenuts are added.
Sambal Kecap Manis – this sweet tasting sambal uses sweet soy sauce, chilies, shallots and lime.
Sambal Oelek or Sambal Ulek – the sambal with a Dutch name derived from the stone mortar in which chilies, salt, lime are crushed and blended.
Sambal Setan – literally the “devils sambal” because of the Madame Jeanette chilies which deliver hell’s fire.
Sambal Taliwang – native to Bali’s neighboring island of Lombok, the local naga joloia pepper is combined with a Lombok variant of shrimp paste and garlic, then cooked in oil.
Sambal Matah – shallots and lemongrass are key to this Balinese sambal, then add shallots, bird’s eye chilies, shrimp paste and a sprinkling of lime.
Sambal Dabu-Dabu – hailing from Manado in North Sulawesi and likened by some to salsa, coarsely chopped tomatoes, clamansi limes, shallots, bird’s eye chilies, basil and vegetable oil.
Sambal Petai – green stink beans are mixed with red chilies, garlic and shallots.
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