Coconuts are a beloved ingredient in Sri Lanka. We are blessed with lots of coconut trees throughout the island so we use it in a lot of sweet and savory dishes.
Sri Lankan Pol Sambol is a very versatile dish because it can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can eat it in a variety of ways as well. Some enjoy it as part of a rice and curry or string-hopper meal. You can also eat it simply with bread and butter.
Actually, one of my favorite ways to eat pol sambol is with plain rice and lentil curry. This is the way my family and I enjoyed this bowl of sambol today. It was totally comforting and delicious.
My American husband first thought eating coconut like this was unusual and did not think he would like it. He now enjoys a good pol sambol just like I do.
I actually shared a more traditional Sri Lankan Pol Sambol a few months ago. So why share another coconut sambol? This one is made differently so it is much more easily assembled. The traditional sambol starts with grinding chilies, onion, lime and salt in a mortar and pestle or a Sri Lankan tool called a miris gala. This simpler sambol omits the need to first grind the chilies and onions. You also add finely minced green chilies for a fresher sambol.
I have tried both types of pol sambols and I love them both. Always remember chilies and the level of spice are added and adjusted to your taste. Sri Lanka is a spicy food loving country so we love a hot and spicy pol sambol.
1lb fresh grated coconut (you can also use defrosted frozen coconut)
1-3 Tbs red chili powder (this range is to your taste)
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
2 green chilies (seeded) finely minced
1 Tbs coarsely ground Sri Lankan Dry Maldive Fish (optional)
salt to taste
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
lime juice to taste (about 1 lime)
Finely chop the onion, green chilies and juice the lime. Add all ingredients to the freshly grated coconut (use only unsweetened coconut if you buy frozen). Mix all ingredients together well and adjust spice, salt and lime to your taste.
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