I did promise the coconut sambal recipe will come up soon so here it is!
This coconut and red chilli sambal is a regular in our house, my husband it’s the expert or even the master to rank him correctly, at making it and I’m a champion at eating it. He often finds it too spicy 😉 since I never fail to interfere and demand for more red chillies to be added. Lol. I do love it spicy! Wow!
It’s truly unbelievable, especially when made hot, hot, hot! The beauty of it its that you choose how hot you want to make it.
Coconut sambal is a very popular side dish in Sri Lanka and in South India.
The ingredients needed in this recipe are easy to find ingredients and these are:
- • fresh coconut that needs shredding, grating or scraping
- • shallots
- • red chillies (dry) toasted for best flavour
- • salt
- • lemon or lime
- • black pepper freshly ground
- • fresh curry leaves (a must for the best possible flavour)
How many chillies ...
The number of red chillies will clearly dictate the level of spiciness so go with what you’re comfortable with. Everyone knows their heat threshold. I believe mine it’s somewhere quite high up there to something like 15 red chillies. Did you say unusual? Oh yes! I am unusual I know, since even my own Sri Lankan husband cannot take that many chillies. 😉
This coconut and red chilli sambal goes well with idli, dosa, appam (Sri-Lankan hoppers), any roti or a nice slice or two of fresh homemade bread. I also love it as a side to any curry whether that’s a vegan, vegetarian or a meat curry like this delicious lamb curry. I will be right to say that this sambal is such a versatile dish. Right?
I would have this easily every day, the only hold up it's the actual onions in it. They are the real hold up really. Onions are what is holding me back, otherwise, it’d be on my plate with every single meal. Truth! That’s how much I love this coconut sambal.
This sambal can be made with fresh green or red chillies but to me, the red dry and toasted chillies have the best flavour and subtleness, hence my choice to share this particular version.
I call it a spicy lip-smacking treat and anyone who enjoys coconut, spice and spicy would absolutely and utterly LOVE this sambal.
It’s one of those dishes that you can take to a picnic, to a potluck party, great with barbecue or any meal to enjoy with family and friends.
The beauty of it is that the spiciness level can be adjusted according to everybody’s threshold so it can be made from very mild to super spicy (just like I like it ???). It’s one of those dishes that awakens all the senses and takes you to cloud 11 ( just two levels above cloud 9 or even above that). So, so tasty, refreshing and super healthy! Definitely, a must-try.
Eat this coconut sambal and this sardines dish and you’ll never catch or get a cold or a flu ? again. Your immune system will be at its highest it can ever be, seriously.
Let’s do some grinding, scraping, some mixing and a bit of squeezing then, shall we?
Coconut sambal with red chilli
- mortar and pestle
- coconut scraper/ grater
- chopping board
- 1 coconut fresh, shredded/scraped or grated
- 1 lemon or 2 limes
- 4-15 red chillies dry and toasted
- 1 Salt
- 4 shallots
- 1 handful of curry leaves fresh
- Shred the coconut and the best tool it’s using a coconut shredder but if you don't have that you can grate it on the small grater or use a food processor to get it to a gritty couscous size and texture.
- Toast the red chillies for 1-2 min tossing them in a pan over medium heat. I do not add any oil but feel free to do so if you wish.
- Whizz the toasted chillies into a food processor. These should be done separately while nice and dry so they don’t get moist with the other ingredients.
- Peel and chop the shallots roughy and add together with the curry leaves to the toasted whizzed already red chillies in the food processor. Give these a good whizz until they get to a gritty texture and the size of a fine couscous.
- Into a larger bowl bring all the ingredients together and mix well, add the lemon juice, the salt and some freshly ground pepper to taste. Some add sugar, 1 teaspoon or so, but I never do. I do not find that necessary.
- dry red chillies can also be replaced with red chilli flakes or even fresh chillies - don’t forget to toast these too ;-)!
- shallots can be replaced with red onion or regular brown or yellow onion; shallots are the best if you can get them as they are a lot tastier.
- curry leaves are not so easy to find in general supermarkets but if you have any Asian store around, these will surely be sold there. You may be able to find the dry ones but they are nothing like the fresh ones so if you cannot find them at all use parsley or coriander (cilantro).
Will definitely be making this! Can frozen curry leaves be used for this recipe?
Also, if made with fresh leaves, can this be kept in the fridge and if yes, for how long?
Thank you so much for stopping by!
Yes, you may use frozen curry leaves but I would say try and get some fresh ones as they will make this coconut sambal 10 times better. For some reason, dried or frozen curry leaves, sadly, lose all that amazing flavour.
Yes, you may keep it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. In our house, it never lasts that long but sometimes we make double the portion and freeze it. It freezes really well too.
Let me know how you liked it! 😉
Thanks For Sharing this amazing recipe. My family loved it. I will be sharing this recipe with my friends. Hope the will like it.
I love the flavors in this recipe!
Fiona Maclean says
Thank you so much for sharing - this is a dish I really enjoyed in Sri Lanka but didn't get a chance to try!
Jere Cassidy says
I am impressed with 15 red chilis. Sounds like my dad. I have never made a dish where I actually grated fresh coconut and i want to try it. I may only use 10 chilis though!!
Jacque Hastert says
What a great idea for a delicious dish! I can't wait to give this a try!
We are the opposite, my husband would love this as spicy as possible. I'll try to make this for him this week as a treat, he'll love it.
I love the uses of the sambal and the curry leaves in this recipe. I need to head to my Asian market and pick some up.
Okay now this is different and delicious! I would love to try this with chicken. I'm starting a new diet this week and I'm adding this to my meal plan! I can't wait to try it!
Jacqui DeBono says
I could just smell this recipe and all it's lovely ingredients! Love the idea of using with seafood!
Sondra Barker says
Wow this recipe sounds so interesting. I would love to try this out sometime soon!
Stine Mari says
That definitely looks like my kind of thing. So much flavor and texture from the coconut.
I love trying new cuisines from around the world like this. It looks fantastic!
Amy Liu Dong says
This Coconut sambal with red chilli recipe sounds new to my ear. I have never tried to make this dish nor tasting it but it looks really delicious, will definitely try this at home.
Lesli Schwartz says
Love coconut, love sambal oelek, what could be better? Looking forward to making this and using on top of seafood!
Thanks Lesli, a great idea to top the seafood with this coconut sambal- yumm.
Have never tried anything like this, thanks for the idea. It's vice versa in our family, my husband likes everything more spicy than I do, I'm sure he'll like this side dish.
thank you dear Alena, let me know if you make it and if hubby liked it. You can make some for you and add less chilli 😉