North Sumatran Sambal Andaliman

Sambal are spicy condiments found across Indonesia (and Malaysia and Singapore). Rahung Nasution, a Batak chef and adventurer, shared the recipe for this powerfully refreshing sambal of green chiles, salt, and andaliman, the juicy green local relative of numbing Szechuan peppercorns, pounded together. Spicy, salty, and sour flavors are in perfect balance, and the tingling sensation of the green peppercorns numbs the tongue slightly and gives off notes of cooling mint. While this sambal can be made in a food processor, pound it with a mortar and pestle for the best flavor. It's an ideal complement to Babi Panggang Karo (North Sumatran Grilled Pork), a fatty marinated pork dish beloved by North Sumatra's Batak tribes. Read More: The Fiery, Fascinating World of Sambal

North Sumatran Sambal Andaliman
Photo: Photo by Eva Kolenko / Food Styling by Marian Cooper Cairns / Prop Styling by Natasha Kolenko
Active Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
10 mins
4 to 6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon andaliman pepper or green Szechuan peppercorns

  • 6 medium-size fresh serrano chiles (about 2 ounces), stemmed and roughly chopped

  • 8 medium-size fresh green Thai chiles (about 1 1/4 ounces), stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped

  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt


  1. Heat a small skillet over medium-high. Add peppercorns; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a mortar and pestle; let cool completely, about 5 minutes.

  2. Crush peppercorns using a mortar and pestle until coarsely ground. Add serrano chiles, Thai chiles, lime juice, and salt; grind until mixture is combined but still chunky, about 2 minutes.

Make Ahead

Sambal can be stored in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 day.


Find andaliman pepper and Szechuan peppercorns at Asian markets or online at

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