Pol Sambol

Pol Sambol

Sambol is any dry chutney and pol sambol literally translates to Coconut sambol. This is a very traditional Srilankan dish usually served with String hoppers or idiappam, hoppers or appam and rice. It is so very simple yet tasty and flavourful.

It uses fresh coconut, and traditionally it was made using a stone grinder. But these days, except in the villages most people prefer to use their mixers.

This is the vegetarian version of Pol Sambol. Generally in Srilanka, they add a tbsp of Maldive fish powder. So if you are non-vegetarian, and you can get your hands on these, do go ahead and give it a try.

Srilankan Pol sambol vegetarian version closely resembles the Nadan Thenga chammandhi, which we Malayalees make as accompaniment for  Rice gruel or Kanji. (My recipe coming up very soon).

The only difference is that we use tamarind instead of lemon. Srilankans should give our version a try. It’ll go well with all their kendas.

In our house, we make a chutney, called the Rose chutney (It has got nothing to do with roses though 🙂 )which is also similar to this, sans tanginess. I learnt it from my mil and it is hubby’s favourite chutney.

We add water and make it like a dip which goes very well with Idli, dosa and chapati. Just some grated coconut, red chilly, onion and salt ground to a paste. I shall post the recipe with measurements and pictures, meanwhile, you can give it a try.

So here we go….

Pol Sambol
Pol sambol is a very simple side-dish made with coconuts and can be made when in a hurry
Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Srilankan
Servings: 1 serving
Author: Hema Magesh
  • a handful of coconut bits (roughly half cup grated coconut)
  • 1 medium sized big onion
  • 2-3 red chillies
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice of half lemon
  • salt to taste
  • few curry leaves
  • First take the coconut, red chillies and salt in the mixer and grind it coarsely.
    Steps 1-3 pol sambol
  • Then add onion, garlic and curry leaves and pulse till it gets well blended.
    Pol sambol steps 4-6
  • Drizzle lemon juice and serve with string hoppers, appam or rice. 
  • I served myself , this sambol as an accompaniment for Idiappam and it was so good. 

Hema’s P.S

  • This is the measurement for 1 serving. Increase the quantity of coconut as per need. Spices can also be modified to taste.
  • As I broke my Elgi grater (this is the third one), I normally cut out pieces of coconut, scrape the back, cut them into small pieces and then use them. A handful of coconut bits translates to ½ cup of grated coconut loosely packed.
  • This is a dry chutney, so no water is added to it while grinding.
  • I have used whole red Kashmiri chillies. If you are using regular chilly reduce the number, else you will end up with a very spicy sambol.
  • Most recipes add garlic as an optional ingredient, so you may omit it if you do not like garlic.



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My other sambol recipes

gotukola sambol

Seeni sambol








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