Sambal is the general term for spicy chilli-based pastes that are popular all over South East Asia. It takes time to make sambals, since the process of cooking the chillies is long, but it is well worth the time and trouble. I usually cook a big pot of sambal, pack it into small tubs, label them and place them in the freezer. This way, I do the work once and have a good supply of sambal, especially for those super-busy days when I don’t have the time to cook a proper meal. I just need to defrost the sambal on the stove over low heat. And once the oil separates, I can add the other ingredients.