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Two of My Grandmother's Sri Lankan Sambal Recipes

Recipes May 27, 2021


Harvest time! In case you wondered how my little Urban Eden Vertical Garden has been going, I wanted to share an update. It’s doing so well – that is mainly because it has a self watering system, rather than any innate green thumb I think I possess.

We use these herbs for soooo many things like green omelettes, yummy pesto and mojitos! I also use it to make my grandmother’s Sri Lankan mint and coconut sambal. In case you’re wondering, Sambals a sort of dry chutney that Sri Lankan’s eat with most meals. There are so many different types, and generally when you eat as a family you will have number of different ones on the table to pick and choose from. Of course my grandma makes the best ones (remember her yummy dahl?).

I’ve had a lot of requests for this recipe, so I thought I’d share that and my other favourite sambal below. Perfect eaten with curry, Dahl, or a breakfast of eggs!


Sri Lankan Mint Sambal

  • 2 cups of mint leaves
  • 1 small eschalot or half a red onion
  • 1 large green chilli (or less depending on your taste)
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut milk
  • 1 lime, juiced

Sri Lankan Pol Sambal

  • 2 cups desiccated coconut, plus a tablespoon of coconut milk
  • 1 small eschalot or half a red onion
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp ground chilli (or less depending on your taste)
  • 1 tsp caster sugar


The traditional way to make these Sambals is by crushing in a mortar and pestle. I love it done this way! But if you don’t have one, you can also do it in a food processor. Simply put all the ingredients in a food processor and  blitz until they form a sandy texture. Add some coconut milk if they are too dry.


Blitz in a food processor or grind in a mortar and pestle, if it’s too dry add extra coconut milk.

Note: Both these recipes also usually have Maldives fish (a type of dried fish) in them but it can be tricky to find and I think tastes just as good without.


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