Coconut Sambol

Evidently, fresh coconut has been used in Sri Lanka for all types of curries and sambols. This freshly grated coconut sambol is delicious when it’s really blended with chilli and onions. You can substitute fresh coconut to desiccated coconut but fresh coconut always tastes better. Just remember to sprinkle some warm water to the desiccated coconut before you prepare this coconut sambol. I didn’t add lime juice to this recipe because it makes the sambol little sour, Personally, I like the fresh taste of the coconut. But you can always add 1/4 TSP of lime juice to the below recipe. If you are a vegetarian you can skip adding the maldive fish. The coconut sambol still tastes really yum without the maldive fish.



Coconut Sambol

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

15 minutes

Serving Size: 2

Coconut Sambol


  1. Fresh coconut - 1/2Cup
  2. Red Chilli Flakes - 1/2 TBS
  3. Maldive Fish - 1 TBS
  4. Onion - 1 (medium)
  5. Salt - 1/2 TSP
  6. Sugar - a pinch


  • If you are using a whole coconut, use a hammer to break the coconut in half.
  • Grate the coconut using coconut scraper/ use a food processor to chop the coconut.
  • Add maldive fish, chilli flakes, salt and sugar in a stone mortar.
  • Using the pestle pound everything for 1 minute.
  • Add sliced onions and pound again until the onions turns mushy and well blended with chilli mixture about 5 minutes.
  • Add freshly grated coconut and pound while scraping down the sides of the motor and pound for another 5 minutes.
  • When pounding using a motor and pestle the coconut release its milk and it's makes the sambol tastes even better.
  • Serve with bread, rice and string hoppers.


The reason i have added sugar in this recipe is because some of the fresh coconut we get doesn't taste sweet. When it tastes very bland you can add a pinch of sugar which will makes the sambol tastes better.

You can also add one clove of garlic and 4-5 peppercorns along with onions.

Adjust the salt according to your taste.

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11 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Wow this sambal is our family fav. I loves srilankan dishes I do make quite few dishes like sodhi and other recipes cuz most of my cousins are married to srilankans. Nice to know u through blogging and thanks for stopping by my space.

    1. Thanks Janani, It’s nice to hear from you that somehow you are related to Sri Lankan cuisine. Hope you enjoying my recipes.

  2. Quite a recipe! Just like grandma’s. Thanx.aj

  3. since no fresh coconut around can i use desicated coconut? and if so do i need to warm it up? or just sprinkle warm water is enough?

    1. Hi Kapila, Sorry for the late response. Yes you can use the desiccated coconut with hot water. In a bowl put the desiccated coconut and pour over the hot water then allow to cool to lukewarm. Knead firmly with your hands for a few minutes, then strain through a fine sieve. pressing or squeezing out as much liquid as possible. You can use this for any curries. Adjust the thickness by adding more or less water. Hope this helps.


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