Sambal Kacang (Indonesian Dish)

Sambal Kacang

This is one of my favorite vegetarian dishes. Mom said that her father used to bring lots of dried beans home that he used as samples for his business. Her nanny would soak the beans for a long time and then make dinner out of them. She said they were very poor and could not waste. This is one of the dishes that came from those beans. We usually use garbanzo beans as they hold up best for texture, but I have used black beans, northern beans, soya beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, really, any bean works!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indonesian
Author Dave


  • 2 shallots thinly sliced
  • 2 clove garlic minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 g Ginger peeled and cut into 1-2" chunks
  • 2 serrano peppers minced
  • 2 chayote squash peeled and cut into 1/2" chunks
  • 1 bell pepper cut into 1/2" chunks
  • 1 pack extra firm tofu cubed and fried
  • garlic granules
  • Salt
  • 1 can Garbanzo beans 15-25oz
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar Gula
  • 1 dash Galangal powder can be replaced with a chunk of fresh galangal
  • 1 dash shrimp paste Terasi (optional)
  • 1 can coconut cream 15oz
  • Canola Oil
  • Water


  • Pre-heat frying pan with a little oil. When oil is hot, add cubed (2 cm cubes) tofu. Sprinkle tofu with garlic powder and salt to taste. Cook until tofu is golden brown on all sides. When done, set away from heat.
  • While tofu is browning, cut a slice off top of chayote squash. Rub the two cut ends together. A white foam should form. My mom said this was to get rid of the starch. Rinse the foam off and toss the top end away. Wash and peel the rest of the squash. Cut in half to get rid of the peel in the crack. If there is a pit, cut away the white and pit areas. Cube the rest of the chayote squash so it's similar in size to tofu.
  • Wash and cut the bell pepper so it's similar in area to the chayote squash cubes. No seeds here either.
  • Slice shallots thinly. Peel ginger so it's the size of your thumb. Cut ginger into two large chunks for easy removal. Mince spicy peppers and garlic cloves. Get rid of the pepper seeds unless you want to kill your taste-buds. Careful when handling. Don't touch your eyes or any sensitive areas.
  • Heat large wok with oil in it. When oil is hot, add shallots, ginger. When shallots are halfway done, not quite clear, add minced garlic, spicy peppers, and bay leaf. Make sure garlic doesn't burn and shallots turn clear. If garlic burns, start over. If you are using fresh galangal, add at this point.
  • Add cubed chayote squash. Stir fry for almost a minute, then cover squash with filtered water. Water should boil off a little. Add water to maintain cover. Add salt.
  • When squash is partly done (you can still taste a raw flavor), add bell peppers. Continue to add water as needed to cover.
  • Add beans and the tofu you set aside. Stir. Add salt to taste. Add a tbsp or two of sugar, to taste. Add tsp or two of shrimp powder, to taste. Add coconut milk to taste, and one pinch of galangal powder (secret ingredient!).
  • Serve hot over rice with sambal oelek or sambal trassi for those who want more spice!
  • If you have leftovers, that's great! It tastes even better the next day!