Chilli-fried potato crunch

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Fire Islands: Recipes from Indonesia

Fire Islands

By Eleanor Ford

Published 2019

  • About

An addictive sweet-spicy mix is the secret ingredient of many rickety roadside warungs (family restaurants). A generous sprinkle adds heat and crunch to any meal and is especially good with vegetables. They also make a great snack. You can vary the base as you like; I’ve used roasted peanuts and the potato matchsticks you can buy in packets, but tiny dried fish are often included.


  • 1 tablespoon dark palm sugar (gula jawa), shaved
  • 150 g ( oz) matchstick potato crisps
  • 75 g ( oz) Wok-fried Peanuts
  • juice of ½ a lime

Bumbu spice paste

  • 2 large red chillies, seeds in or out, roughly chopped
  • 4 small red Asian shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cm (½ inch) galangal (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon oil


Grind the ingredients for the bumbu together using a pestle and mortar or food processor.

Stir-fry the bumbu in a frying pan for 3-5 minutes, until fragrant and the raw garlic taste has gone. Add the palm sugar (and some salt if your potatoes and peanuts are not already seasoned). Tip in the potatoes and peanuts, squeeze over the lime juice and stir-fry for a minute to coat everything in the spice. Taste for seasoning, adding more sugar, salt or lime until it has just the flavour punch you are after.

Tip into a bowl to cool to a sticky crunch.