Sambal Matah: Raw Chilli Mix

A recipe for sambal matah, a raw chilli mix — an important condiment in Balinese cuisine, and eaten with almost every meal in Bali.

Must Try

- Advertisement -Tasty Food Photography
Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk Sri Rahayu
Nunuk hails from Solo, the historic royal capital and cultural centre of Java, Indonesia. She has been cooking since the age of 12, and also performs and teaches traditional Javanese dance. Her dream is to eventually write her own Indonesian cookbook.

Sambal matah originates in Bali, and no meal in Bali is complete without sambal matah. The word matah in Balinese means raw, as the ingredients used to make this sambal are fresh raw ingredients. You won’t be doing any actual cooking except pouring sizzling coconut oil over the ingredients to blend the flavours together. This sambal is delicious and very easy to make.

This sambal is now gaining a lot of popularity outside Bali, and is often used in fusion cuisines. Don’t be surprised if you find on the menu spaghetti with sambal matah sauce on your visit to a restaurant in Indonesia!

Be extra careful when handling the chillies, especially the pods, as they can give your fingers a burning sensation for quite some time. I recommend using single-use powder-free white latex gloves when making this recipe.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Sambal Matah: Raw Chilli Mix

Sambal Matah: Raw Chilli Mix

  • Author: Nunuk Sri Rahayu
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Sambals & Sauces
  • Method: Smoking
  • Cuisine: Balinese
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Sambal matah, a raw chilli mix, is an important condiment in Balinese cuisine, and is eaten with every meal in Bali. Quick and easy to prepare, it is now popular throughout Indonesia and is often used in Indonesian fusion cuisine.


  • 15 bird’s eye chillies, chopped
  • 7 small shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 kaffir lime’s leaves, remove the stalk, finely sliced
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, use only the tender white part, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/3 tsp roasted shrimp paste
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil

Sambal Matah ingredients


  1. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients except the coconut oil.
  2. Using your hand (you need to wear gloves to protect yourself against the heat of the chillies), mix and gently knead all the ingredients until the salad starts to sweat.
  3. Heat the coconut oil until it smokes.
  4. Pour the hot oil on the chilli mix and, using a spoon, stir all the ingredients.
  5. Add the lime juice and mix well. The sambal is ready to serve.


  • You really need to thoroughly knead the chopped ingredients to bring out the flavors.

Keywords: Quick & Easy, Balinese food, Spicy

- Advertisement -Tasty Food Photography


Recipe rating
Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Latest Recipes

Popular tags