Pol sambol, or coconut sambol, is a delicious coconut relish, or chutney, that is eaten with Sri Lankan rice, string hoppers, or hoppers. I couldn’t get enough of it when I visited Sri Lanka a couple years ago.
It’s typically made with Maldive fish, but this is a vegetarian version, so I omitted it. I used a mortar and pestle, but you can use a food processor if you prefer.
- 3 shallots, very finely chopped
- 1/4 fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons red chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup frozen shredded coconut, unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste (optional)
- Using a mortar and pestle, pound the onion, chili powder, salt, and sugar together.
- Slowly start to incorporate the coconut and continue pounding. Mixture should be a light red-orange.
- Incorporate ginger and garlic, if using.
- Season with lime juice and more salt as needed.