Onion Sambol from Sri Lanka (Seeni Sambol)

Onion Sambol from Sri Lanka (Seeni Sambol)

Seeni Sambol is one of the most delicious side dishes when you think of Sri Lankan cuisine. Seeni sambol has its roots in the north of Sri Lanka, but you can find this sambol almost everywhere on the island. The caramelized onions captivate with the flavorful blend of sweet, sour and spicy. In Sri Lanka, the Seeni Sambol is not only a popular side dish, but it is also used to fill the very popular yeast buns, which can be found in countless bakeries.

Super fast and vegan!

What I love most about this sambol is the super quick preparation and short list of ingredients. The Seeni Sambol is vegan and is a favorite side dish at my house for summer barbecues.


gluten free meat lactose free

350 g red onions, halved rings
1 ½ tsp dried chili flakes
25 ml tamarind paste
75 ml water
1 ¼ tbs sugar
4 tbs neutral oil
1 pn cinnamon
Salt to taste

First cut the onion rings and then roast them in a pan for 3-4 minutes (without oil), stirring constantly. Meanwhile, mix the tamarind paste with the water.

Now add the oil to pan and mix everything well. Cover the pan and saute on medium heat for 4-5 minutes.

Remove the lid, stir and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Now add the tamarind water, sugar and chili flakes. Stir well and simmer with the pan closed for another 3 minutes.

At the end, remove the lid, stir onions well and saute on low heat for another 2-3 minutes. Season the Seeni Sambol with salt and serve warm.

What do you think?

We are interested in your opinion. Have you tried this recipe? Let us know how you liked it. Make a comment, rate it or post your own photo with #lovefoodasia on Instagram. Thanks for your support!

Leave a Reply