Recipe of the week 

I will go with all: Sambal

Sambal is an Indonesian chilli sauce traditionally grinned in Stone cobek and ulekan (mortar and pestle/ ओखल और मूसल). Here, I am sharing my kitchen recipe passed down to me by my Malaysian friends. This is a yummy, low calorie and spicy sauce that goes with veg, non-veg and vegan dishes.

The main ingredient of this sambal is lemongrass: a backyard secret plant. Lemongrass is a tall, stalky and lemony aroma plant. It is also called Citronella, Gavatī, Nimbu Gass, Cochin grass, Malabar grass, oily heads or fever grass.

Lemongrass is used for treating digestive tract spasms, stomachache, high blood pressure, convulsions, pain, vomiting, cough, achy joints (rheumatism), fever, the common cold, and exhaustion. It is also used as an insect repellent and a mood elevator.


According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health and Phytomedicine, Lemongrass helps prevent the growth of some bacteria and yeast. Lemongrass also contains substances that are thought to relieve pain and swelling, reduce fever, improve levels of sugar and cholesterol in the blood, stimulate the uterus and menstrual flow, and have antioxidant properties. There isn't enough research on lemongrass tea to recommend a standard dosage for any condition. However, to limit your risk of side effects, start with one cup daily.


Apart from medicinal purposes, it is commonly used in commercial bug sprays and candles. Lemongrass is a decorative plant, may be irritating to mosquitoes. Lemongrass oil and soap are good for pimple/acne-prone skin. It also helps to improve hair health, relieves stress, works as a hand sanitiser, and prevents body odour.


The recipe:

Serves: 2

Total Calories: 160

Cooking time: 20 mins



  • 3 stalks lemongrass (fresh, trimmed and thinly sliced)

  • 3 medium-sized onions (coarsely chopped)

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 2 tablespoon ginger, chopped fresh

  • Peanut size fresh turmeric

  • 5 red fresh chile (of course Thai chilli will give you an additional flavour, but not better than what you have)

  • 1 tomato, fresh, ripe plum, cut into 1/2-inch dice (with juices)

  • 1 teaspoon jaggery (replacing sugar with jaggery also lowers your risk of developing type 2 diabetes)

  • 2 tablespoons tamarind water or fresh lemon juice

  • Salt according to your taste (limit your sodium intake 6g of salt a day)

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (optional)

  • 2 spoon cooking oil.



  1. Prepare lemongrass for cooking.

  2. Boil 2 Onion for 10 mins.

  3. Grind chopped garlic, ginger, turmeric, chilli, boiled onion and lemongrass.

  4. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan over medium heat.

  5. Fry chopped tomato and Ring onion till it softens.

  6. Now add jaggery, salt, lemon juice and lemongrass mixture.

  7. Cook till it remains half in quantity.

  8. Cool to room temperature before serving.

  9. This delicious sambal should be kept tightly covered in the refrigerator and stays upto 1 week.

  10. It will go with tom yum soup, veg clear soup, as a chutney, burger sauce, and tandoori.

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