Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mint Sambol (Spicy Mint Salad with Shredded Coconut)

Mint Sambol (Spicy Mint Salad with shredded coconut)
I wish I could share a seasonal cake or cookie recipe with you. There are seasonal sweets and desserts everywhere and also in food blogging world. Even though I indulge in all of them by buying from outside, I hardly make anything sweet because we are ‘weight watchers’. If I make them at home, it’ll be both of us indulging and it will not reflect well in our scale. So whenever there is craving / tempt we buy small portions. That way our consumption is limited to one piece a day. We satisfy our sweet tooth as well as prevent us from the guilt of over indulgence.

So as usual I’m sticking to a spciy recipe for the season. This time it is mint. Ever since I got to know about this herb, I'm absolutely in love with it. I love mint fragrance, mint tea and mint and lemon infused water and mint in my food. I even started growing them in my balcony. Mint sambol is very similar to pesto or even chutney. Difference is I’ve used shredded coconut to bind the flavors together; hence it is thicker in consistency compared to pesto or chutney.
Mint Sambol (Spicy Mint Salad with shredded coconut)

In Malaysia sambol means a sauce made with red chili, garlic, onion and shrimp paste. Often used to season seafood, meat or even tofu and also used as a side for Nasi Lemak (Fatty Rice made with coconut milk) But in Sri Lanka sambol means it’s a spicy salad which uses shredded coconut as main ingredient. Shredded coconut, dry red chilies, onion, garlic and lemon juice is pounded together using Mortar and Pestle. Check out this link to see the recipe to make Sri Lankan coconut sambol.

Similar method is used to make this mint Sambol, but I’ve added roasted coriander seeds and fennel seeds to infuse spicy aroma. Also ginger and garlic gives a spark of flavors to this sambol.
Mint Sambol (Spicy Mint Salad with shredded coconut)
Print recipe here
Serves 2-3

150g Mint Leaves
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 cloves of garlic
1 small piece of ginger
4-5 green chilies
1 tbsp tamarind paste
4 tbsp shredded coconut
1 large onion
Salt to taste


Dry roast shredded coconut till its slightly brown and add them to food processor.

Similarly dry roast fennel and coriander seeds till they are aromatic, and add them to food processor.

Now add rest of the ingredients i.e. mint leaves, onion, garlic, ginger, tamarind paste and greed chili to the food processor.

Process for 2-3 minutes till all the ingredients are finely minced and combined together.

I served this sambol as a side with rice, you can also serve with Biryani, spread it in bread and make sandwiches by filling  cheese, tomato and lettuce or serve with any other main meal that suits your taste buds.

Mint Sambol (Spicy Mint Salad with shredded coconut)
You may use frozen shredded coconut, just like me. Since you are roasting it before, there is no change in taste. Its recommended to thaw it to room temperature.

Tamarind paste can be replaced by lemon juice. Tamarind paste gives tanginess to this sambol.

If you wish to grow mint plants, just plant all the remaining stems in a pot. Water them once in two days, and leave it to grow in an area that has sunlight. You will see tiny cute leaves emerging out of these stems in few days.
Baby leaf just emerging from planted mint stems
Mint Plant in my balcony Mint Leaves
Season’s Greetings and Wish you a very Happy New Year 2012!


  1. delicious looking combination wonderfully done

  2. The sambol looks perfectly spicy and delicious!! Happy New Year!

  3. Ami's Vegetarian DelicaciesJanuary 2, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Tnk u, and Wish you a very Happy New Year too

  4. This looks wonderful, and the mint is just gorgeous!
    Hope you enjoyed your holidays :)

  5. Ami's Vegetarian DelicaciesJanuary 3, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Thank you, and Best wishes for this New Year! Happy cooking...

  6. Farwin @ Love&otherSpicesJanuary 5, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Hi Ami,Happy new year ! Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog.Your blog is lovely with lots of info and recipes to try.Glad to have found a SL blogger.Keep in touch.

  7. delicious one. i love ur pot with mint leaves, so fresh

  8. Loved this recipe Ami; we make a coconut-mint chutney with a touch of ginger. I liked the combinations here; very similar to some ground South Indian biryani masalas.

  9. Hi Ami, it was great to meet you the other night! Your blog is great and your photos are beautiful!! :) This recipe looks so delicious, I'm going to have to try it. My husband would devour it, I'm sure! Cheers!

  10. All your recipes look amazing ! thank's for the lovely blog ;-) I'm a born and breath veggie ... and your recipes are great inspiration !!!! thought You might like and subscribe this


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