Coconut Sambol is used to complement Sri Lankan dishes. Normally served to the side of the main meal, it provides a bit of extra heat and flavour. I literally eat this straight from the Thermomix bowl, and it’s not unusual at times to see me eat this for breakfast on toast! It also can be eaten with rice crackers as an alternative to dip or straight on buttered bread.
Coconut Sambol is a great accompaniment with Sri Lankan Pan Hoppers, traditionally the two would go alongside a main meal, but it’s not uncommon to eat a pan hopper with only the Coconut Sambol as the meal. As it takes only a few minutes to create the mixture, it can be created whilst the Pan Hoppers are cooking.
Recipe for Coconut Sambol
1 Fresh Coconut – Shelled and broken into large chunks
1 Escholot or 40 gms Red Onion
1 Lime, Juiced
1 Tablespoon Sweet Paprika
2 Teaspoons Ground Chilli
1 Teaspoon Dried Chilli Flakes
3 Teaspoons Coconut Sugar
3 Teaspoons Maldive Fish
Place the Maldive Fish into the bowl and mix for 10 seconds, speed 9.
Add the coconut then all other ingredients, mix for 10 seconds speed 7. Check the consistency and add another 10 seconds if necessary. The mixture should look like very fine desiccated coconut or breadcrumbs.
Keep refrigerated in an airtight container and use within 3 – 4 days.
Tips and Suggestions
If you don’t have access to a fresh coconut, substitute it for 190 gms of desiccated coconut and 1 tablespoon of coconut milk or coconut water. Using fresh coconut is by far the tastier version, but desiccated coconut is a good alternative if fresh cannot be sourced
Maldive fish can be sourced at Sri Lankan shops or online.
Portion the Coconut Sambol into small air tight zip lock bags and freeze.
This particular recipe is very spicy, reduce the chilli for less heat.
I’m still unsure which way is the best to shell a coconut. I prefer to freeze the coconut kernel overnight, before gently cracking with a hammer; the shell should then peel away. Alternatively a coconut shredder can be purchased from ebay.