Gado Gado Sauce

An Indonesian peanut sauce served with steamed vegetables.


  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp ground coriander (dhania) seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 green chilli (optional), finely chopped
  • 400 ml thin coconut milk (use water instead of coconut milk for a lighter sauce)
  • 8 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 3 dates, finely chopped / 1 tbsp date paste (or more to taste)
  • Unrefined salt to taste
  • Black pepper (kali mirch) powder to taste
  • Plenty of lemon juice to taste
  • Fresh coriander leaves (optional), chopped


In a heated saucepan, gently fry onions, garlic & ginger without oil, until they are soft and golden. Add ground spices and green chilli (if using) to the onion mixture & continue to fry for about a minute on very low heat, until the spices give off a pungent aroma. The spicy onion mixture will be sticking to the bottom of the saucepan at this stage. Deglaze the saucepan with some water, turning the spicy onion mixture into a paste-like consistency. Add coconut milk or water, peanut butter and date paste & stir until the sauce is of a homogeneous consistency. Add water for a thinner sauce or reduce for a thicker sauce. Season to taste with salt, pepper, or extra chilli and lemon juice. Garnish with fresh coriander, if using. The most important thing about a recipe is to have fun with it and modify it to your own taste. Have fun and experiment!

Serve on a platter of steamed veggies – cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, string beans, spinach, boiled potatoes and sprouts.