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How to Make Delicious & Healthy Sri Lankan Pol Sambol/Coconut Sambol

Updated on March 24, 2015
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Ohla has been a foodie, traveler, frugal wife, writer;believes that happiness lies in our hearts and how we see it in our lives.

Tasty Lunch with Coconut sambol
Tasty Lunch with Coconut sambol

Sri Lankan Cuisine

Sri Lanka is an Asian country that is abundant with Coconut trees. Sri Lankan cuisine is rich and delicious thanks to this healthy ingredient; Coconut. Coconut is used as coconut milk, coconut oil, scraped coconut and desiccated coconut.

Coconut - The Main Ingredient

The Coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family). The coconut is known for its great versatility as seen in the many uses of its different parts and found throughout the tropics and subtopics.

Coconuts are part of the daily diets of many people. Sri Lankans call it “Kap Ruka” meaning the entire tree is useful from top to bottom.

Coconut tree is a large palm, growing up to 30 m (98 ft) tall with long leaves that spans for 2-3 meters length. It is grown very well along coastal areas as it prefers sand and salty soil with high humidity. Such that coconut trees are abandoned in everywhere in Sri Lanka.

Tasty Pol Sambol
Tasty Pol Sambol

Coconut Sambol : Delicious Side Dish

Coconut Sambol or “Pol Sambol” as Sri Lankans call it is a scrumptious authentic Sri Lankan dish that is famous among any Sri Lankan rich or poor.

Coconut sambol can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner and goes well with any main dishes such as rice, bread, string hoppers, roti or any other flat bread such as Paratha.

Children even try the coconut sambol with crispy potato chips.

Why coconut sambol is called Pol Sambol? Simple reason is coconut is called "Pol" in Sinhalese language which is the native language of Sri Lankans; and hence the coconut sambol is called pol sambol.

Coconut Sambol – 5 minute easy recipe

Yield: 2 person
Preparation time: 5 minutes

  • 1 cup of freshly grated coconut flesh
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tea spoon of dried red chille powder
  • About 5-10 pepper seeds
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • About 3 small shallots
  • 1 tea spoon of grinded Maldive fish (Optional)
  • 1/2 a lime

you would need a stone or a wooden mortar and pestle.


  1. Put the pepper seeds into the mortar and grind them using the pestle.
  2. Put Chop the garlic and shallots
  3. Mix everything apart from the lime and grind together in the mortar until you get everything mixed well for about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Get the grinded coconut sambol into a dish and mix the lime juice and give it a good mix
  5. Check the salt and lime taste and adjust to your taste.

Some scrumptious & healthy ways to try the coconut sambol.

1. Coconut sambol Panini

  • Take 2 slices of roasted bread
  • Spread some coconut sambol over one slice.
  • put some fried bacons on the sambol
  • put an omlette on top
  • Put a slice of cheese and cover from the other slice of bread
  • Use a panini maker and taste after the cheese is melt. (I do not have a panini maker at home. So I use a non stick pan and keep my sandwich on medium heat. On top of the sandwich put a heavy bottom pan. You get the same result. )

Sandwiches or Tortilla rolls with Coconut sambol, egg omelet and Bacon filling

Coconut sambol , Egg and Bacon panini
Coconut sambol , Egg and Bacon panini

Boiled Manioc or Jack covered in Coconut Sambol

Sri Lankan String Hoppers, Dhal curry and Coconut sambol tastes heavenly

Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Coconut Flesh

Eating Coconut Sambol is not only tasty, but also very healthy and even eating daily makes you a healthy person.

  • Coconut is a very versatile food for most people living in the tropical belt. It is a complete food rich in calories, vitamins, and minerals. The coconut flesh and water in an average-size coconut provide almost all the daily-required essential minerals, vitamins, and energy for a person.

  • Coconut has many bioactive compounds that are essential for better health.

  • The important saturated fatty acid in the coconut is lauric acid. Lauric acid increases HDL cholesterol levels in the blood. HDL is a high-density lipo protein, also called good cholesterol that is essential to prevent vessel blockage.

  • Coconut water is a very refreshing drink. The water of the king coconut is probably the most nutritious and wholesome drink that nature has provided for people living in tropical countries. It tastes sweeter than the usual coconut water. The king coconut consists of bioactive enzymes such as acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase and RNA-polymerases which help in digestion and metabolism.

  • Coconut oil extracted from the dry nut is an excellent emollient agent. It is used in cooking, cosmetic industry and also in medicines.

In the old days it says "eating an apple a day keeps the doctor away." However with the amount of chemicals used in Apple farming, do not think it is still right. May be it is time to think "Consuming coconut frequently keeps the doctor away.

— Thish


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    • Thish profile imageAUTHOR


      22 months ago

      Glad you like the recipe Chitrangada. Please do try and you will surely like the Coconut Sambol. It goes with all Asian main meals.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      22 months ago from New Delhi, India

      This is something unique and sounds delicious to me.

      Interesting combination of ingredients and presentation, I would love to try this one.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Thanks so much for this recipe. Being a vegetarian I'm on the outlook for healthy recipes. This one is perfect!


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