Today I am sharing a delicious and lip smacking recipe from Sri Lanka. Pol Sambol / Srilankan Coconut Sambol is a is a traditional Sinhalese dish made from fresh coconut, mostly used as an accompaniment with rice, string hoppers, hoppers and curries. It is basically a coconut relish.There are many variations to this traditional dish. I am sharing the recipe that is completely vegan.Sambol is a condiment made using some very minimum ingredients and is usually not cooked.

Can we Use Desiccated Coconut for this dish?

Well the answer is completely NO.Desiccated coconut is completely dry and texture and taste will not be the same as freshly grated coconut. When you mix the ingredients the flavors are perfectly balanced.Some versions of pol sambol also add tomato, as well as garlic and green chili, although those versions are less common.It is extremely basic and yet its presence  elevates the entire meal.

Main Ingredients for Pol Sambol / Srilankan Coconut Sambol:

  • Freshly Grated Coconut : It is so juicy and fresh. This is the star ingredient of Coconut Sambol / Pol Sambol.
  • Chilli : You can use dry red chilli or fresh red chilli. Green chilli version is not so common.
  • Red Chilli Powder and Chilli flakes: Adds some spice kick and gives a nice orange colour to the dish. Increase or decrease the quantity as per your spice tolerance.
  • Shallots or Red Onion: You can use shallots or Red Onion depending on the availability.
  • Lime Juice:This is another important ingredient to add some sourness to the dish and balance the flavors.
  • Sugar:Some recipes call for sugar and some don’t .I like to add a bit of sugar as there is a perfect balance of spiciness , sourness and sweetness.
  • Garlic: This is completely optional Ingredient. But I love the Sambol with garlic.

Recipe for Pol Sambol / Srilankan Coconut Sambol:

  • Author: Preethi Prasad
  • Prep Time : 10 Mins
  • Total Time : 10 Mins
  • Course : Condiment
  • Cuisine : Sri Lankan

Equipment Used:

  • Mortar and Pestle
  • Mixing Bowl

Ingredients for Pol Sambol / Srilankan Coconut Sambol:

  • 2 Cups Freshly Grated Coconut
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 2 Fresh Red Chillies
  • 3 Gralic Cloves
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Red Chilli powder
  • 1 Tsp Red Chilli Falkes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tsp Pepper Powder
  • Juice of 1 Lemon


  • In a mortar and Pestle mince the onion, garlic and fresh red chillies.
  • In a mixing bowl add freshly grated coconut , minced onion garlic chilli mix , chilli flakes, chilli powder,sugar and salt.
  • Mix all the ingredients with clean hands until well combined.
  • It will be hot, sour and mildly sweet.
  • I would prefer to make it fresh and consume.
  • Serve with rice or roti.
  • Enjoy………………………..


  • Use dry red chillies instead of fresh red chilli.
  • Use of garlic is completely optional but i would recommend not to skip it.
  • You can use a blender in case you do not have mortal and pestle .
  • Make sure that the coconut has to stand out in this dish.
  • You may also add an inch of more of pandan leaf if you can lay your hands on it.
Srilankan dal curry by priya. https://preethicuisine.com/srilankan-curry-powder/ https://preethicuisine.com/srilankan-raw-mango-curry/


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