How To Make Seeni Sambol – The Traditional Onion Chutney From Sri Lanka


Call it chutney, dip, sauce or spread, condiment has a global appeal. You can have it as is, pair it with roti/paratha or spread it on bread, condiment helps elevate our meal experience in just no time. If you explore the world of condiments, you will find countless options, leaving you spoilt for choice. In India, we find different types of chutneys and achars; whereas, Mediterranean cuisine has delicious hummus to pair with pita bread. Likewise, in Sri Lanka, we find sambol. Sambol is a traditional Sri Lankan condiment that is aromatic, flavourful and helps amp up your meal experience.

Sambol is of different kinds. We find pol sambol made with coconut, katta sambol made with chilli paste and more. But what we enjoy the most is seeni sambol, made with onion. It has a sweet and spicy taste that is best relished with roti, bread, cracker et al. Here we bring you the seeni sambol recipe by celebrity chef Anahita Dhondy, who prepared it in the easiest way possible. Chef Anahita took to Instagram to share the recipe and wrote alongside, “Seeni Sambol is a traditional Sri Lankan sweet and spicy onion relish consumed as a condiment with slices of bread, crackers, flatbread and other foods. Sambol means “sauce” or “condiment” in Sinhala and Tamil, whereas seeni means “sweet” or “mild”. The sweetness of the caramelised onions, chilli and spices make this an extremely well-balanced condiment.”

How To Make Seeni Sambol – Sri Lankan Onion Chutney Recipe:

  • Slice the onions and keep all the ingredients ready.
  • Heat oil in a pan, and add curry leaves, cinnamon and green cardamom.
  • Add the sliced onions, add red chilli powder, mix with the spices and let it cook for about 10 minutes till the onions get reduced and change colour.
  • Make sure that the onions do not get burnt; add a splash of water if needed.
  • Add the tamarind juice, sugar and salt to the onions and mix till the juice gets absorbed and the colour is a deep brown. Add a little water for it to all come together.
  • Adjust the seasoning and serve as a condiment with some bread or pair it with your favourite curries!

Watch the detailed Seeni Sambol recipe here:

Also Read: Watalappan – Sri Lanka’s Most Famous Dessert

Try this delicious chutney today and do let us know how you liked it.

About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.





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