What is one thing that unites Indonesia’s diverse cuisines? Sambal. Have you ever wondered how many types there are? Researchers from Gadjah Mada University recently listed 322 different recipes. Fanning the flames of the Ubud Food Festival’s love of all things spicy, welcome to our weekly Sambal Series featuring our favorite types of sambal from across the archipelago. First up is sambal andaliman from North Sumatra.
Sambal andaliman originates from the Tapanuli Regency of North Sumatra, where the andaliman pepper plant (Zanthoxylum acanthopodium) grows natively. It is closely related to Sichuan pepper (Z. piperitum), but has distinctive citrus notes, somewhat similar to lemongrass. Both peppers share the same fizzing, numbing effect on one’s lips and tongue. Andaliman has become synonymous with the cuisine of the Batak Toba in North Sumatra, and as well as adding the citrusy flavor and tingling sensation to sambal, it’s also used in various Batak specialties such as arsik and saksang gulai babi. If you can get your hands on some andaliman pepper, why not try making it at home!
25 grams of bird’s eye chili
5 roasted candlenuts
2 cloves of garlic
2 sticks of lemongrass
½ teaspoon of Andaliman
½ tablespoon of salt
With a mortar and pestle, grind all the ingredients until smooth.