Sambal Hitam Pahang

Sambal Hitam Belimbing most likely came about when there is an abundance of belimbing buluh (starfruit). This recipe was created to utilize these fruits rather than have it put to waste. This sambal is specifically well known in a few regions in the state of Pahang, namely Temerloh, Jerantut, Raub & Kuala Lipis. The name is reflected by the colour of the belimbing after being boiled for a length of time. This is my favourite sambal due to its sourness, spiciness and the crunchiness of the anchovies.


  • 5 cups of belimbing buluh, cleaned, boiled with lots of water till the belimbing feels tender and turns dark in colour, drain. Usually, the belimbing should be boiled for a few hours.
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup anchovies, pound coarsely
  • 15 shallots/bawang merah kecil, pounded coarsely
  • 10 of birds-eye-chillies, pounded coarsely

  1. Heat the oil. Deep fry the anchovies whole till crispy. Drain from the oil.
  2. Then pound the fried anchovies just to break it up.
  3. Use the same oil to saute' the shallots and chillies till fragrant.
  4. Add the belimbing buluh. Continue cooking on low flame till the liquid has reduced.
  5. Put in the anchovies and toss it around. Remove from the fire.
  6. This sambal keeps well, especially when kept in a sterilized bottle.
  7. Wonderful with plain white rice.