Spicy Quince Sambal

This tart and fiery condiment was inspired by the sambal of Cape Malay cooking, brought to South Africa by Indonesian and Malaysian slaves.


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  • Servings: makes 1 1/2 cups

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  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 3 red Thai chiles, very finely chopped
  • One 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 small quinces—peeled, halved, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped cilantro

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the garlic, chiles, ginger and onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the peanuts and cook until sizzling, about 3 minutes. Add the quinces, lime juice, sugar and salt. Cover and simmer, stirring a few times, until the quince is barely tender, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly. Stir in the mint and cilantro and serve.

Make Ahead

The sambal can be refrigerated overnight.


Quinces are available at most supermarkets from October through December.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published November 2006

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