In Sri Lanka, this all-purpose sauce is served with soft rice noodles or used as a base for curries. Four hard-boiled eggs and 2 medium potatoes, boiled and diced, can also be cooked in it briefly and then served with rice.
To peel tomatoes, drop them in boiling water for 10 seconds.
Soak the fenugreek seeds in 2 tablespoons of warm water to cover for 2 to 3 hours.
Combine the fenugreek seeds, their soaking liquid, the onion, green chiles, curry leaves, cinnamon sticks, goraka, coconut milk, 1/2 cup of water, the turmeric, toma- toes, and salt in a medium pan. Mix well and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and cook, uncovered, stirring very frequently, for 15 minutes. Add the lime juice and stir to mix. Taste for the balance of flavors.
Note: If you cannot find goraka or tamarind, increase the lime juice to 2 tablespoons.
Serves 8 to 10
Serve this relish with any meal that could do with a little spicing! In Sri Lanka, it is made with freshly grated coconut. If you wish to do the same, you will need about 1-1/4 cups. In the version below I have used finely grated desiccated unsweetened coconut.
The sambol needs to be the color "of a Buddhist monk's robes." Sri Lanka produces very good chile powder (both lightly roasted and "raw") with a strong orange-red color. This colors the coconut naturally. If you are going to use cayenne with a dull red color, put in some bright red paprika as well.
This relish will last in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. If it starts to dry out, add some coconut milk or water to moisten it.
Combine all the ingredients and mix well.
Page created 1999. Modified March 2007
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