This simple sambol is as basic to the food of Sri Lanka as salt and pepper are to Western food. Very hot, very acidic and distinctly salty, it is often the only accompaniment to serve with rice, boiled yams, manioc or sweet potato, or any of the starches that are the staple of the native diet.
- 10 dried chilies
- 1 tablespoon pounded dried shrimps
- 1 small onion, chopped
- lemon juice and salt to taste
- Remove stalks from the chilies and if a less hot result is preferred, shake out the seeds.
- Pound all together in a mortar and pestle. In Sri Lanka, this would be either pounded or ground on the grinding stone. It can be done in a blender, but a wet result is not desirable. It should be a paste.
- Serve with rice or pittu.