Pol Sambola (coconut sambol/ pol sambol) is a traditional Sri Lankan dish primarily made from fresh coconut which is the key ingredient for most Sri Lankan dishes. Well getting fresh coconut is always a big problem here in USA, I still remember those good old days/ newly wed and moved to US 😉 where we use to live in tiny apartment far far away from Indian stores… drive almost an hour to the store to buy fresh coconut, then the tricky part to find ways to break open it… hunting for a crowbar or hammer and with no luck, wait till hubby return from work to apply some Man power to break open and then find out it is all stale on the inside 😥 ….. those are sweet little memories from my little kitchen diaries!
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|Fresh Grated Coconut||1/2 coconut or 1 & 1/2 cup grated|
|Onion||1/4 cup (finely chopped) or 4 sambar onions|
|Red Chilli powder||1 teaspoon|
|Salt||1/4 teaspoon (or to taste)|
|Lemon juice||2 teaspoons|
Pol Sambol or coconut sambol is always made fresh and served as an accompaniment for string hopper / idiyappams or even for rice. They come in different styles and most of them include fish in it. Traditional Sambol includes Maldives Fish / Cured Tuna / Masikaruvadu (மாசி கருவடு ) / Umbalakada. Today I’m making the veg version of it and hence excluded it. Also sambol is usually hand pound using a mortar & pestle or stone grinder. I’ve tried my best to pound using my small mortar. If using a regular mixer jar, then first grind chilies,curry leaves, with salt and chili powder. You may use a little water as the mixer will be very adamant to pulse. Make a paste and mix that with grated coconut and squeeze lemon juice.
I’ve used fresh grated coconut, (samabar vengayam) small onion, red chili powder and green chili for heat, small lemon, curry leaves and rock salt. (Check notes for substitutes)
In a small pan, heat oil and fry the curry leaves till crisp and keep aside.
I’m making this chutney using mortar and pestle. You may also use a regular mixer. Adding green chilies to the mortar.
Pound to make a paste of the green chilies.
Now comes the onions – chopped onions are normally used. I decide to pound the whole, which was kind of foolish as it kept on slipping. Anyways… pound the onions too.
Now comes the curry leaves, coconut and slat. Lightly pound and mix the red chili powder.
Pound until everything blends.
Now squeeze the juice from the lemon and mix.
Now sambol is ready to be served. They are usually served with string hoppers, idli or thick kal dosas. I like to mix with piping hot basmati rice…
- Makes about 1 cup (approx)
- Fresh coconut suits well for this recipe. if using desiccated coconut then immerse them in little hot water or coconut water to loosen them a bit.
- I’ve used a combination of green chili and red chili powder. There is no hard and fast rule… you can choose just plain red chillies or red chili powder. If using red chilies use about 4 for this recipe.
- If you prefer more spicy then add another 1/4 teaspoon of plain red chili powder.
- Chutney color will look pale orange if using green chili and bright orange for red chilies.
- Fresh curry leaves can be directly pounded or ground, i kind of liked the fried leaves in the sambol.
- Sambar onion / pearl onion / small onion gives nice sweet flavor to the dish.
- Grinding or pounding coconut is optional. The coconut that I used yields larger flakes hence I pounded them. You may grind all ingredients to a fine paste and finally mix with grated coconut.
- This chutney should be served right away, good when served fresh. You may refrigerate for few hours.