Gathering the ingredients for the Coconut sambal recipe
Pol sambal which I will soon be serving at The Underground Restaurant
This sumptuously illustrated book on Sri Lankan cuisine inspires me to explore further food from the Southern tip of the Indian sub-continent.
My introduction to Sri Lankan food occurred, like so many of my food baptisms, in Paris...the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, next to Gare du Nord, (interesting link on the Tamil community in Paris) has several cheap and tasty Sri Lankan restaurants.
Coconut 'pol' sambal, simultaneously fresh and spicy, was a joyous discovery. Peter Kuruvita, chef of the 'Flying fish' restaurant in Sydney, Serendip gives a simple recipe:
1 large fresh coconut, scraped
Juice of 1 lime (I used 2 because I like lime)
2 teaspoons chilli powder
1 teaspoon hot paprika (mainly to give the condiment a red colour)
1/2 a small red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
and 1 tablespoon of Maldive fish flakes
salt to taste (I found smoked salt from Malden's worked well)
I made the sambal (pictured above) without the Maldive fish flakes and it was still delicious. You simply chop it all up together or mix it up in a food processor. I'm going to work my way through this book's recipes...lime pickle (for I love all pickles), egg hoppers (don't fully understand what these are but they look amazing), pineapple curry, and Vadai, a spicy doughnut, a popular street food.