fresh green chili sambol

fresh green chili (amu miris) sambol

(and a tribute to green chilies!)
green chili sambol and sri lankan rolls

“Amu miris” is Sri Lankan for “fresh chili” but also refers specifically to the fresh green chilies used in many Sri Lankan dishes. They are thin and long like bird chilies but much larger all around. They’re one of the main ingredients in this sambol which is spicy but also extremely flavourful.

This is my dad’s recipe and he always uses fresh coconut to make it. I usually have the luxury of using fresh coconut too because my parents own a hand-cranked coconut scraper that screws on to the side of any kitchen table and they make sure my freezer is stocked with at least a cup or two at all times. Outside of my freezer, you can find fresh coconut, frozen, in many South-Asian grocery stores. If you cannot find any, however, you can use unsweetened, desiccated or dehydrated coconut, hydrated with just a little water and oil to moisten it. Once you have the coconut and chilies in hand, the rest is very easy and very fast.

Half of the coconut, the chilies, spices, vinegar and water are added to the food processor, combined, added back to the remaining fresh coconut and mixed together. That’s it. It doesn’t need to sit, it doesn’t need to be cooked in any way, it freezes really well, and will keep refrigerated for a week easily. At first taste you’ll find this spicy–and it is only for those who like spicy. But you’ll also find it delicious and you may fall in love with the taste of these chilies as I have. You can taste the coconut for sure, but it’s merely a vessel for me in this dish–a way to eat a mouthful of green chilies and live to tell about how good it is, and to eat more. Try this the next time you are enjoying any fried samosas or dumplings, with rice and South-Asian curries, or if you can get your hands on them, Sri Lankan “rolls” or a fried specialty called vadais.

green chilis, coconut and spices

chili paste and fresh coconut

fresh green chili sambol

This story and the recipe that goes with it can be found in “HEAT”, ISSUE 006 of Le Sauce Magazine! Please get it here: