• Coconut sambol (pol sambol)

Sambols are fresh or cooked relishes that enliven Sri Lankan meals of rice and curry. This recipe, using chilli, maldive fish and fresh coconut, will give your tastebuds a warm but mellow tingle.




Skill level

Average: 3.8 (10 votes)


  • 1 coconut, cracked and peeled 
  • 1 tbsp maldive fish 
  • 2 tsp chilli powder 
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped 
  • ½ lime, juiced 
  • salt

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Makes 3 cups

Finely grate the coconut flesh with a hand grater or in a food processor.

Grind the maldive fish to a powder in a mortar.

Mix the coconut, maldive fish and chilli powder until the coconut turns orange.

Add the shallots, lime juice and a small sprinkle of salt. Mix well and taste, adding more lime or salt if desired.