Pol sambola

Pol Sambola
Traditional Pol Sambola served on a fresh banana leaf
Alternative names Pol Sambol, Thengkai Sambol, Coconut Sambol
Course Condiments
Place of origin Sri Lanka
Serving temperature Room temperature
Main ingredients coconut, red onion, chillies, salt, lime/lemon
Cookbook: Pol Sambola  Media: Pol Sambola

Pol Sambola (Sinhalese: පොල් සම්බෝල) is a traditional Sri Lankan dish made from coconut, mostly used as an accompaniment with rice, string hoppers, hoppers, parathas and curries.[1] It is a coconut relish, consisting of freshly grated coconut, red onions, dried whole chilies (or chili powder), lime juice, salt and maldive fish.[2]



The traditional method for preparing pol sambol is to grind the freshly grated coconut, red onion, chillies and maldive fish (umbalakaḍa - a smoked and cured tuna, that is sold in chips or flakes) on a rectangular block of granite with a granite rolling-pin, known as a miris gala.[3] If fresh coconut is unavailable then moistened desiccated coconut can be used as an alternative. Apply the juice of a freshly squeezed lime (or lemon) through the mixture, add salt if needed and serve as a side dish.[4]

A variation can be made by sautéing the pol sambol in mustard seeds, curry leaves and sliced onion, which is called Badapu Pol Sambol (sautéed pol sambol).

See also


  1. Lee, Jess (2014). The World's Best Spicy Food: Where to Find it & How to Make it. Lonely Planet. ISBN 9781743604212.
  2. Gunawardena, Charles A. (2005). Encyclopedia of Sri Lanka. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 96. ISBN 9781932705485.
  3. Bullis, Douglas; Hutton, Wendy (2001). Food of Sri Lanka. Tuttle Publishing. p. 37. ISBN 9781462907182.
  4. Solomon, Charmaine (2011). The Complete Asian Cookbook. Hardie Grant Australia. ISBN 9781742701448.
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