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Sweet Onion Sambol Recipe


HT ACC Sri Lankan 30mins


This is a classic recipe from Sri Lanka. Sambols are a popular accompaniment to main courses served at most meals.

Sri Lankan Name: Seeni Sambol

Serves 6-8    Hot Vegetables Fish Seafood Shellfish Spices Accompaniment Dairy Free Eggless Sri Lanka Ceylon Ceylonese Asia Asian

4 large Onions, finely chopped
60ml/2fl.oz. Maldive Fish or Dried Shrimp Paste
5cm/2-inch Fresh Root Ginger, coarsely grated
6 Garlic Cloves, crushed
2 Red Chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
6 Cardamom Pods, split
4 Cloves
1 teasp Ground Cinnamon
90ml/3fl.oz. Vegetable Oil
4 Curry Leaves
1 teasp Tamarind Paste
2 tbsp Sugar
Salt to taste



1.  Place the onions, maldive fish, ginger, garlic, chillies, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.

2. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the curry leaves and stir-fry the curry leaves for 30 seconds.

3. Add the onion mixture and fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

4. Add the tamarind paste and continue to cook, stirring, for a further 5 minutes until dark brown.

5. Add the sugar and continue to stir-fry for a further 2 minutes. Adjust the seasoning adding salt if necessary.

End of instructions


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Key techniques required to make this recipe


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Mixing bowl

Frying Pan

Wooden or plastic spoon


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