Spaghetti Sambal Tomat: Spaghetti with Indonesian Tomato Sambal (Vegan)

A quick and easy meal of spaghetti in Indonesian-style tomato sauce - with chillies, of course. Here, tomatoes, chillies, shallots and garlic are fried, blended and then poured over cooked spaghetti.

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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.

Spaghetti sambal tomat, or spaghetti with tomato sambal, is a quick and easy five-ingredient dish I came up with. It turns out I’m not unique; many time-pressed Indonesians have also independently created it. It’s sort of an Indonesian version of the spaghetti arrabiatta. The ingredients are similar, but the different cooking technique gives it a perceptibly “fuller” taste.

The sauce for this dish is a modified version of sambal tomat made from sautéed shallots, chillies and tomatoes. It’s usually very spicy and quite thick. In this version, I’ve made it less spicy and added more tomatoes than usual. This way, it can be eaten as a sauce rather than as a condiment. 

Traditionally, sambal tomat is made by frying all the ingredients and then pounding them using a mortar and pestle, to give a thick, chunky, salsa-like sambal. But this recipe is meant to be quick and easy! Also, I didn’t want to have to deal with the splatter that results from the pounding. So instead, I blended the whole thing. Then, I used fresh chopped tomatoes as a garnish, to add to the texture and the freshness of flavour. If you feel up to it, you can do it the traditional way – by pounding the cooked ingredients to a consistency of your liking. But the good thing about blending is that you can feed your entire village without much of a difference in cooking time.

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One of the things I like about this dish is that it lets me enjoy the taste of the sambal without the interference of other things. No need for rice or a main dish….who needs them when you have a good sambal! 

Meticulous chefs, be warned – this is a lazy person’s recipe. We lazy people, too, sometimes need to eat something other than steamed rice with a fried egg.

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Spaghetti Sambal Tomat

Spaghetti Sambal Tomat: Spaghetti with Indonesian Tomato Sambal (Vegan)

  • Author: Deyana Goh
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Rice & Noodles
  • Method: Sautéing
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

A quick and easy meal of spaghetti in Indonesian-style tomato sauce – with chillies, of course. Here, tomatoes, chillies, shallots and garlic are fried, blended and then poured over cooked spaghetti.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 5 large tomatoes
  • 5 big red chillies
  • 7 large shallots, peeled
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 350g pasta
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves (optional)

    Spaghetti sambal tomat ingredients


Instructions

  1. In a large pot, add water, salt, and boil the spaghetti until cooked. Drain and set aside. About 15 minutes.
  2. Roughly chop the tomatoes, chillies, shallots and garlic.

  3. In a wok or a pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, chillies, shallots and garlic.

    Add the chopped tomatoes, chillies, shallots and garlic

  5. Sauté until the tomatoes and chillies are well-cooked, around 8 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.

    blend until smooth

  7. Pour over the spaghetti and serve. Garnish with fresh chopped tomatoes and coriander leaves.

    Garnish with fresh chopped tomatoes and coriander leaves


Notes

  • To turn up the heat, just add more chilies!

Keywords: Experimental, Quick and Easy, Spicy, Common Ingredients

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