Grandma's Chicken Sambal
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
for the sambal paste
  • 8 red finger length chillies, or more if you want it spicy
  • ¼ tsp tumeric
  • 1 inch ginger, approx 15g, skin removed
  • 6 garlic cloves, approx 25g
  • 3 onions, approx 250g, roughly sliced
other ingredients
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 kg chicken, skin removed (you can use breast or whole chicken, whichever you prefer)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, bottom third only – smashed with the back of a knife
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • ¼ tsp chicken stock powder
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly squeezed lime juice, to taste
  • coriander leaves and thinly sliced red chilli, to garnish
  1. Make the sambal by blending all the listed ingredients together to a paste – either in a mortar and pestle, or in a blender.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil and saute the onions until they are lightly browned around the edges.
  3. Add the blended sambal paste and cook until aromatic and the mixture has thickened slightly. Make sure to stir so that it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the chicken and lemongrass to the pan, and stir through so that the curry paste covers all the meat. Cover and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. If the mixture is catching on the bottom, add 2 tbsp water to thin it out.
  5. Uncover the pan, then add kaffir lime leaves, chicken stock powder, sugar and salt to taste. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the sambal has reduced to a thick curry paste.
  6. Add lime juice, making sure to taste for balance and check for seasoning. Serve topped with some coriander leaves and thinly sliced red chilli.
Recipe by A Kitchen Cat at