Additional reporting by Dudi Aureus.
From tomorrow (July 22) to August 18, dining out will not be allowed again as we return to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert); it isn't given the alarming spike in coronavirus cases. This either means ordering your favourite meals for delivery or cooking more at home. If it's the latter, we have here some simple and super-tasty Sri Lankan recipes that you can easily replicate for your family at home. The best part about making them yourself is you can modulate the spiciness of each dish by adding or reducing the level of chilli and curry powder in each recipe.
Pol Sambol (Coconut Sambal)
A delightful accompaniment to rice dishes and brunch favourites like pol roti (recipe at the end of the story), pol sambol combines the flavourful crunch of minced shallots with the twang of lime juice and the kick of chili paste. The bright orange tone in this dish is caused by the combination of the red chilli paste with the white shredded coconut—the fresher the coconut, the better the taste of your pol sambol.
- 2 cups of freshly grated white coconut
- 2 tbsp of red chili paste or 'cili giling'
- 15 shallots, peeled
- 3 - 4 Calamansi limes
- 2 to 3 tbsp of Maldive fish, pounded (use pounded dried prawns as an alternative if you don't have Maldive fish)
- Salt to taste
- Cut your shallots into quarters and pound them into a paste. You can also mince them in a food processor. Combine the minced shallots with the grated coconut, chilli paste, Maldive fish in a bowl with salt and the juice of the limes. Mix the ingredients together thoroughly with your hand. Taste and add salt as necessary until the mixture achieves your ideal combination of saltiness, hotness and zest from the limes. Serve with pol roti or rice and curry.
Tip: Up the red colour of your pol sambol by adding a tablespoon of chilli powder and mixing well.