Skip to Content

Sri lankan pol sambol(Coconut Sambol).

Sri Lankan pol sambol(Coconut sambol).

Pol sambol is a spicy coconut sambol made with freshly scraped coconut, shallots, green chillies as key ingredients.

Gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian and so good with anything you eat.

Read through a Sri Lankan menu, have dinner at a Sri Lankan restaurant and you’ll notice a relish made up of freshly grated coconut.

This spicy Sri Lankan dish is what we call”pol sambol”.

What is pol sambol?

If you are not familiar with the term”pol sambol” it’s the Sinhalese term and simply means a spicy coconut mixture or condiment.

It’s one of the most popular Sri Lankan dishes that need to be tried.

The coconut sambol can be served with almost anything from bread, rice and even Sri Lankan pol roti.

It’s an essential part if not a key ingredient to Sri Lankan cooking, we use the thick, thin coconut milk to make gravies for our curries and freshly grated coconut is used to make a spicy coconut sambol.

Just try adding a bit of freshly scraped coconut into your cooked rice and see how a bowl of rice transforms.

Sri Lankan coconut sambol in a spoon.

Difference between scraped coconutand desiccated coconut.

Keep in mind, scraped coconut is different from desiccated coconut because there is a difference in flavor and texture.

The latter is hydrated and quite dry whereas the first has a wet consistency and is much creamier in flavor.

Can I use desiccated coconut to make pol sambol?

No, I would not recommend making pol sambol using dessicated coconut as the taste and texture will be completely different than using freshly scraped coconut.

How long does pol sambol stay fresh?

Keep in mind, this is a raw sambol, usually mixed with your fingers.

Unless the leftover is refrigerated, the Sambol can spoil easily. especially in the summertime or on very hot days.

To keep the pol sambol longer, try making the kalupol coconut sambol, I have given below.

Three ways you can make the pol sambol.

  • Using a mortar and pestle to grind all the spices and the fresh coconut.  this is one of two traditional ways of making the pol sambol.
  • Sri Lankan pol sambol(Coconut sambol). A dish made with freshly scraped coconut, shallots, green chillies as key ingredients. #gluten-free #vegan #vegetarian #srilankan #relish #coconut.
  • Using the “mirisgala”, just like the mortar and pestle, this is a traditional Sri Lankan grinding stone used to make spice pastes and to make certain condiments like pol sambol. 
  • If you have neither of these uses your hands to mix and combine ingredients, I advise the use of disposable gloves as you will be mixing chilli powder, green chillies and black pepper.

Save the recipe to your favorite Pinterest board.

how to make a sri lankan coconut sambol image

How much fresh coconut should I use for 2-3 individuals?

The following recipe uses a whole coconut, the amount is more than enough for 5-6 individuals.

If you are making the coconut sambol for 2-3 individuals, use 1/2 a coconut which will yield 1 cup and maybe a little bit more. 

Reduce the rest of the ingredients mentioned in the ingredient section in half for 2-3 individuals.

More scraped coconut recipes!

Kalupol coconut sambol

Sri Lankan yellow coconut sambol.

Carrot-coconut stir-fry

Green beans and coconut stir-fry.

Cabbage and coconut mallung.

Storing.

Refrigerate within a few hours of making the pol sambol.

consume within 24-hours.

Freezing.

Avoid freezing.

Reheating.

Once refrigerated, you can reheat the pol sambol to consume within 24 hours.

Reheat the coconut sambol by, adding the sambol to a frying pan and reheating over low heat.

 

For best results, heat until there is no moisture left and slightly toasted.

Stop food wastage by

Only make as much as you need as coconut sambol is a dish best eaten when made fresh.

Any leftovers can be made into sandwiches, butter the bread, add the sambol and a slice of cheese(optional).

RECIPE DIFFICULTY -EASY

How to make pol sambol.

Ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.

1 freshly scraped Coconut (see the quantity for 2-3 individuals mentioned above).

3 medium-sized onion chopped

1 large tomato chopped

2 Limes

2 green chilli finely sliced

1-2 teaspoon of red chilli powder(reduce or increase as per your need)

Salt to taste

2 teaspoon of pounded Maldive fish(optional but do not add if you are a vegetarian or vegan)

Method

Have all the ingredients ready.

image of ingredients needed to make coconut sambol(pol sambol).

If you are using a “mirisgala” or a small mortar and pestle.

Add the sliced onions, green chillies, Maldive fish(do not add if you are a vegetarian or vegan), tomatoes, green chillies, chilli powder, to a mortar and lightly pound for 3-5 minutes.

If you are using a “mirisgala” as I’ve used then make sure to crush the shallots first as you don’t want them bouncing off the stone, followed by all other ingredients and finally the scraped coconut.1-2 minutes. 

crushed ingredients for the pol sambol(coconut sambol)

Once all the ingredients are coarsely crushed add in the scraped coconut, lime and salt to season.

Pound the coconut lightly with the ingredients while using a spoon to scrape and mix while the light pounding continues for 3 minutes.

Once done transfer to a large bowl, taste and season with lime, salt as needed.

Making the pol sambol by hand.

Add the scraped coconut into a large bowl, followed by onions, green chillies, tomatoes, salt to season, lime juice, chilli powder and maldive fish.

Combine until all the ingredients are mixed. taste and season with salt and lime if necessary.

Yield: 4

Sri lankan pol sambol(Coconut Sambol).

Sri lankan pol sambol(Coconut Sambol).

SRI LANKAN POL SAMBOL(COCONUT SAMBOL).A DISH MADE WITH FRESHLY SCRAPED COCONUT, SHALLOTS, GREEN CHILLIES AS KEY INGREDIENTS. GLUTEN-FREE, VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • Ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.
  • 1 freshly scraped Coconut (see the quantity for 2-3 individuals mentioned above).
  • 3 medium-sized onion chopped
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 2 Limes
  • 2 green chilli finely sliced
  • 1-2 teaspoon of red chilli powder(reduce or increase as per your need)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoon of pounded Maldive fish(optional but do not add if you are a vegetarian or vegan)

Instructions

Have all the ingredients ready.

Making the coconut sambol using “mirisgala”or a mortar and pestle.

If you are using a “mirisgala” or a small mortar and pestle,

 

Add the sliced onions, green chillies, Maldive fish(do not add if you are a vegetarian or vegan), tomatoes, green chillies, chilli powder, to a mortar and lightly pound for 3-5 minutes.

 

If you are using a “mirisgala” as I’ve used then make sure to crush the shallots first as you don’t want them bouncing off the stone, followed by all other ingredients and finally the scraped coconut.1-2 minutes. 

Once all the ingredients are coarsely crushed add in the scraped coconut, lime and salt to season.

Pound the coconut lightly with the ingredients while using a spoon to scrape and mix while the light pounding continues for 3 minutes.

Once done transfer to a large bowl, taste and season with lime, salt as needed.

 

Making the pol sambol by hand.

Add the scraped coconut into a large bowl, followed by onions, green chillies, tomatoes, salt to season, lime juice, chilli powder and Maldive fish.

Combine until all the ingredients are mixed. taste and season with salt and lime if necessary.

Made this recipe?

Please don’t forget to rate the recipe on the recipe card so other readers find it helpful and show me your recipe by tagging me #islandsmile178 on Instagram.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 434Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 1208mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 6gSugar: 16gProtein: 21g

Nutritional information on islandsmile is provided as a courtesy. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on the site. these figures should only be considered as estimates.

Each recipe on this blog has been written with great care and love to the best of my ability with you in mind.
It’s free and on the blog, for you to try anytime.

All I ask is that you do not save it on any apps, recipe boxes or online groups which will affect me as a food blogger and the growth of this blog. I would appreciate if you only share the link rather than the full recipe. 

All images and text on this website are protected by copyright.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

homemade chilli, lime and butter corn image
Home made: Corn with lime and butter
← Read Last Post
spicy cabbage stir fry in cooked with 5 ingredients in a frying pan.
Spicy cabbage stir-fry with 5 ingredients and video.
Read Next Post →

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ioene

Friday 5th of February 2021

Thanks so much for the list of ingredients. I love Pol Sambol and ate some almost every day in Sri Lanka

jehan

Saturday 6th of February 2021

you are most welcome loene. Regards, Jehan

Megan

Sunday 10th of July 2016

What kind of coconut do you use? The green or brown ones?

jehan

Monday 11th of July 2016

Hi Megan, you use the brown one.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe