Coconut (Pol) Sambol (පොල් සම්බෝල)
Being one the largest Coconut exporters in the world and of course the coconut being a staple in Sri Lankan cuisine, the traditional “Pol Sambol” (Coconut Sambol) is a must try when fulfilling your gastronomic pleasures in our paradise island.
The Pol Sambol which belongs to the hierarchy of accompaniments in Sri Lanka is an all time favourite while it is enjoyed by the young and old alike regardless of cast and creed. Be it a roadside kiosk or a star class restaurant, the humble pol sambol adds a fiery spark to your meal. A good palette will be able to taste a mix of spice, tang, salt and a mild sweetness from the grated coconut.
It’s a quick fix during breakfast and can be enjoyed with pol roti, Hoppers, String Hoppers and bread. Some even enjoy this dish with Rice and Curry. Here’s a simple recipe for you to try.
- ½ fresh Coconut, grated (about ½ lb), (or ½ lb frozen grated coconut)
- 6 small red dried Chilli Peppers (or 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper)
- ½ teaspoon Salt (or according to your preference)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- 6 small bombay onions or 1 red onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon Maldive Fish Flakes (optional)
- Juice of 1 lime
- Using a large mortar and pestle (or working in batches in a smaller mortar and pestle), grind the dried red chillies with the salt and sugar into a fine paste until there are no chilli seeds.
- Then, add the Maldive fish chips (optional), and grind a little more.
- Next, add the freshly grated coconut to combine with the paste. The whole idea at this stage is to get the coconut to be infused with the flavour and colour of the chilli paste.
- Now add the diced red onions and grind until obtaining a paste with enough texture.
- Add the lime juice, mix well, and serve.