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: 3.3 (19 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.