Kentang Balado: Padang-Style Potatoes in Sambal (Vegan)

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Deyana Goh
Deyana Goh
Deyana was born in Singapore and lives there. She is half-Chinese, half-Arab, with a grandmother who was born to an Arab family in Bogor, Indonesia. Deyana grew up eating Indonesian food as it is cooked in Arab-Indonesian households, and has fond memories of the festive whole chicken stuffed with lamb.

Kentang balado, or potatoes cooked in a Padang-style chilli paste called sambal balado, is spicy and refreshing. It’s similar to telur balado and balado teri kacang, except that it’s completely vegan.

This recipe doesn’t use tomatoes, unlike most other balado dishes. The galangal here is optional too, and I’ve only included it because it adds a fresh flavour to the dish. It’s essentially a no-frills recipe. There’re just enough ingredients to give a spicy flavour that goes well with rice or on its own. 

Fry the potatoes in kentang balado separately before cooking them with the blended chilli paste. If you’d like a healthier version, they can be boiled instead. Alternatively, the pre-cooking of the potatoes can be eliminated altogether. Put the raw potatoes into the pan immediately after Step 5 (the sauteeing of the paste) and cook with the paste until they soften. 


In typical kentang balado dishes served at restaurants, the texture of the potatoes is still firm, and the pre-frying gives a slightly crisp outer coating to the potato. However, I’m a huge fan of soft potatoes! So I’ve made mine slightly mushier than what you’d normally get at the store. 

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Kentang Balado: Padang-Style Potatoes in Sambal (Vegan)

Kentang Balado: Padang-Style Potatoes in Sambal (Vegan)

  • Author: Deyana Goh
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Vegetables
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Vegan


Kentang balado is a dish of potatoes cooked in a refreshing chilli sauce of shallots, garlic, and lime leaves. It’s a filling vegan meal with a kick, which doesn’t contain too many ingredients and is easy to cook.


  • 2 large potatoes, sliced into wedges
  • 3 shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 5 big red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 2 bird’s eye chillies, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 1 inch galangal, peeled and roughly chopped (optional)
  • 4 lime leaves, torn
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  1. Soak the potato wedges in salt water for 15 minutes to flavour them. Drain and pat dry with a paper towel. 
  2. Blend the shallots, garlic, galangal, and all the chillies.
  3. Fry the potatoes until they turn golden. Set aside. (Boil for a healthier version.)

    Fry the potatoes


  4. In another pan, add 2 tbsp vegetable oil and heat the pan over a medium flame.
  5. Add the blended paste and fry for 3 minutes or until the paste thickens.

    Add the blended paste


  6. Add the lime leaves and salt to the paste.
  7. Then, add the potatoes and stir-fry for another 3 minutes. 
  8. Turn off the heat and serve.

    Potatoes in Sambal (Vegan)


  • Depending on how spicy you’d like it, feel free to adjust the number of chillies. The bird’s eye chillies can be omitted to significantly reduce the spiciness.

Keywords: Galangal, Shallots, Garlic, Lime leaves, Vegan, Vegetarian, Chilli

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