The indonesian kitchen is rich in spices, such as galangal, ginger, lemongrass and other herbs like lime leaf. Among the spicy dishes they always serve sambal, a chili based paste, as an appetizer, that is also used as a condiment.
Usually, it is prepared using lombok chili. There are many different varieties such as the sambal badjak that contains garlic, tamarinde and galangal among other spices, or the sambal balado, that is made of green chilis. Sambal is also popular in Malaysia, Singapur, Sri Lanka and Netherlands. The sambal oelek is actually the base for most of the other sambals.
My greengrocer sells a lot of different types of chili, that of course I couldn't resist. I prepared a smaller portion of sambal oelek, but most of the chilis I use only as a decoration, because they are all very hot.
250 g chili
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
In a heavy iron frying pan dry chilies over medium heat. When they have cooled down chop, remove the seeds if desired, and chop it to a paste together with the salt and the brown sugar either with the help of a mixer or in a mortar. It can be kept in the fridge for a week.