Sambal Lu’at Timor (Timorese chili paste / Timorese style chutney)

By Olvira Ballo

Sambal Lu’at is a family condiment originated from So’e, Central Timor, East Nusa Tenggara Province.  The dry season here in Timor is so harsh, so some of the ingredients use for this sambal, could only be found fresh in the market during the rainy season. However, as this dish is very popular and is part of our daily meal here in Timor, the dish is often made in large quantities then later stored in barrels for future consumption.

The sambal Luat today is produced using the same ingredients it was made years ago by our ancesstors and is very popular condiment among the Timorese and even visitors to the island proofed to be great fan of this condiment.  Its distinctive citrus flavour makes it an ideal accompaniment to a variety of dishes.  You can use it as deep for nibbles, use in soup, stir fry and as condiment for meat and fish dishes.

Sambal Luat is very easy to make, you will need to use fresh ingredients to achieve the fresh and chunky texture of this condiment. Here is a sambal luat recipe you can try at home. It is very delicious and slightly addictive, so go easy on the consumption.

You will need:

  • Fresh chili               : 250gr
  • garlic                       : 25gr
  • ginger                      : 25gr
  • galangal                  : 25gr
  • lemongrass            : 25gr
  • kaffir lime              : 100gr
  • bassil leave           : 25gr
  • Coriander              : 25gr
  • Salt to taste.

How to prepare:

  • Wash and dry all ingredients, wipe off any excess moisture.
  • Grind the chilies (if you are using pestle and mortar) or simply put it in a food processor, grind then put aside.
  • Use the middle section of the lemon-grass (eliminate the woody part)  and chop finely.
  • Peel the ginger and the galangal and chop finely.
  • Cut the kaffir lime and remove all the seeds,  then chop finely (ideally in tiny squares)
  • Chop the basil and the coriander leaves into fine slices

Mix all the prepared ingredients thoroughly then add the salt to taste.  Mix the salt-in thoroughly then put it in a clean jar and store in the cool dry place (ideally refrigerated).  The condiment will taste so much better if consumed after 2 day fermentation.  This sambal will normally last for several weeks.  Make sure you use clean tea-spoon to scoop the sambal of the jar every time, so that you don’t put new bacteria in the jar.

Enjoy!!!  Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any question.

Salam from Kupang, Timor.

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