sambal kencur

Sambal Kencur: The Great Galangal Sambal

Welcome to another great sambal recipe! Sambal kencur is a sambal that mainly uses kencur to give the sambal a fresh citrusy taste. This exotic ingredient relates to ginger and is highly used in Indonesian cuisine. Try it out now!

To make sambal kencur, simply grind some chillies, garlic, onion and fresh kencur. Fry the ground ingredients to finish the sambal, that’s it!

What is sambal kencur?

Sambal kencur introduces a delicate and aromatic dimension to the Indonesian sambal family. At its heart lies the subtle yet distinct flavor of kencur (galangal), blending seamlessly with the heat of chillies and the sharpness of garlic.

This ingredient, present in Indonesian cooking, embodies the essence of the cuisine’s rich heritage, elevating your food experience to new heights.

I’ve used kencur many times in my kitchen, both fresh and in powdered form. Always have this awesome ingredient in stock!

Step 1: Collect the ingredients

sambal kencur

Sambal kencur

Sambal kencur! This great galangal sambal is definitely for you if you're into spicy and fresh foods. The citrusy note of galanga combine very well with the spicy chillies. Try it out now!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Sambal
Cuisine Indonesian
Servings 2
Calories 55 kcal


  • Food processor or hand grinder


  • 2 large green chillies
  • 2 large red chillies
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 piece of fresh kencur


  • Collect the ingredients
  • Chop and grind the ingredients
  • Fry sambal kencur
  • Serve and conserve sambal kencur
Keyword Sambal kencur

Note: The given kcal count is calculated based on an online tool. The caloric content of your dish might deviate from it.

What to consider when choosing the ingredients

Freshness is key. Select vibrant chillies, a crisp onion, and a fragrant, fresh piece of kencur. Fresh, peeled kencur will lend that unmistakable, earthy flavor that’s crucial for this sambal.

sambal kencur ingredients

Step 2: Chop and grind the ingredients

Roughly chop the washed chillies and peeled garlic and onion. Peel the kencur and roughly chop as well. I normally grind them using a food grinder but I’ve chosen to use a mortar and pestle this time, nice experience and creating a coarser grind.

ground ingredients

Step 3: Fry sambal kencur

Add a frying pan to medium heat and add some (sunflower) oil. Give it a few minutes to heat up and add the ground paste. Fry it for about 5-10 minutes until the paste gives of this amazing smell, that’s it!

frying sambal jengkol
fried sambal jengkol

Step 4: Serve and conserve sambal kencur

Serve this sambal with many dishes to add a fresh, citrus flavor. I recommend the following:

Alternatively, store it in the fridge for a couple of days. Remember to check the sambal for spoilage before eating!

served sambal kencur

I hope you’ve liked this amazing recipe, let me know what you think and please leave a rating! Also, if you have any suggestions on what to cook next, let me know!

Try out some of my other sambals as well:

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