White Pol Sambol

A refreshing meal go-with tangy with lime and luscious with grated coconut
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Keyword coconut, lime, sambol
Prep Time 1 hour
Servings 6


  • 5 tbsp grated coconut You can get packets of frozen grated coconut at most South Asian groceries. Do not you desiccated coconut.
  • 1 finger sized red or green chili or half of each
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lime


  • Crush together the salt and the clove of garlic in a mortar with the pestle, or whizzed in a spice grinder or coffee bean grinder
  • Put the 5 tbsp grated coconut into a small bowl big enough to hold all the coconut and give you plenty of room in which to mix things
  • Add the salt crushed with garlic to the coconut in the bowl. Mix thoroughly using a wooden spoon or ordinary tablespoon or your fingers (my preferred method because you can crush and squeeze as you mix which helps the blending of the flavours
  • Taste a pinch of the coconut mixture. If it is too salty or garlic for your taste, add more grated coconut and mix again. If it is not salty enough add a little salt and mix. You can do this step a few times if you have to to get the degree of saltiness you want. The dish should be less salty than a packet potato crisp
  • Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice of half a lime into the mixture. Taste again and if you want to add a little lime. Mix this well again.
  • Slice a small piece off the top of the chili near its stem. Taste it. This is so you can judge how how it is and judge how much of the chili to put into the sambol. Be kind to your guests and err on the side of less chili unless you know they like hot dishes.
  • However much of the chili you decide to use, chop it into very small bits about the size of a grain of rice. If you are using two different coloured chilies chop half and half.
  • Add the chillies to the coconut and mix well again. Taste and if you like add a little more chili. Serve with a rice and curry meal or use it like a sandwich spread. It will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for a week or two.