Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sri Lankan Lunu Miris (Chili and Onion Sambol)

I have a secret... one of my favorite dishes in the world is this simple little sambol called lunu miris.  It can literally make my mouth water.  All I need is some bread, butter and a bowl of this sambol and I'm a happy girl.  My mother says that I would eat this at the tender age of two... so you can see that I have loved SPICY food for a very long time.  This sambol may seem curious to some of you... onions, chili, salt, lime juice and maldive fish.. how can that be tasty?  Well... it simply is. Are you wondering about the maldive fish? It is a  dried/cured fish that is used throughout  Sri Lankan dishes.  If you are a Sri Lankan, this sambol may be close to your heart.  We traditionally eat this with  Kiri Bath (Coconut Milk Rice) , Hoppers (appa), Roti-flat bread and much, much more.

1 large onion cut finely by hand (do not use food processor)
2 Tbs red chili powder (or to taste)
1 Tbs red chili flakes 
1 Tbs coarsely ground Maldive Fish (optional)
salt to taste
1-2 tsp lime juice (or to taste)  - lemon juice can be substituted.

Note:  You can use red, yellow or white onion in this dish. 

Finely dice onion. Add all ingredients and use a mortar and pestle to smash the ingredients down.  If you do not have a mortar and pestle handy, put in a shatter proof bowl and gently pound with a heavy bottom bottle.  Pounding the ingredients helps develop the flavor so this is a must. Taste for salt and lime juice and adjust as needed.  Serve with bread and butter or with a variety of Sri Lankan dishes.   Enjoy. 

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