Seeni Sambol (Spicy caramelized onion)

October 31, 2018
Traditional Sri Lankan Seeni sambol is a hot and spicy, sweet and sour condiment. This is also a side dish that goes well with Sri Lankan coconut roti, hoppers, bread and even rice. 


5 medium sized onions
1 green chilli (finely chopped)
1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 small tomato (finely chopped)
1/4 cup thick tamarind paste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder 
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
2 cloves
cinnamon stick
1 tbsp Madivian fish flakes/ dried shrimps


1. Heat oil in a pan and add cinnamon, cloves, ginger garlic paste and saute for few seconds. Gradually add the finely chopped oinions and green chilies. Saute until the onions become transparent.
2. Next add turmeric powder, chili flakes, maldivian fish flakes and saute. Gradually add the tamarind and chopped tomatoes. Mix well and let it simmer in medium heat. (Do not close)
3. Once it is simmered add salt and sugar, mix well and take off heat. 


• You can caramelize the sugar and add it to get a nice dark colour. 
• For lamprais, the seeni sambal is made with dried shrimp. Some dry roast the dry shrimps and grind into a fine powder and add it. Both ways gives a better taste.
• You can also add fresh shrimps to this. Add washed and cleaned shrimps or prawns when the tamarind is added. This prawns or shrimp sambol is best for hoppers, pol roti, lamprais etc.

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