Coconut Chile Relish (Pol Sambol)
Makes 1 ½ cups
Time: less than 30 minutes
This spicy coconut condiment sparked a lifetime love affair with Sri Lankan food for my friend. Any coconut-based curry would be flattered by the addition of this chewy, tart, spicy coconut mash.
2 cups (about ½ lb.) finely ground coconut, frozen or fresh
1 small red tomato, core and seeds removed and finely chopped
1 small red onion, peeled and finely diced
4-6 curry leaves
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons ground cayenne
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1. In a mixing bowl combine coconut, tomato, onion and curry leaves. In a measuring cup whisk together lime juice, garlic, cayenne, pepper, sea salt and pour over coconut. Use a fork or your fingers to thoroughly mix, then warm a large skillet over medium heat and add coconut.
2. Stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, cook coconut just long enough to dry out the consistency slightly and the mixture starts to become fragrant, less than 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Store chilled in a tightly covered container for up to a week.