Lunu Miris (Sri Lankan Sambol)

1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon crushed mild red pepper
1 tablespoon umbalakada (smoked and dried Maldives fish)
2 teaspoons lime juice

Place all the ingredients except the lime juice in a mortar and, using a pestle, crush them.

Pound the ingredients to develop their flavor.

Add salt to taste.

Add the lime juice and mix well with the pestle, pounding the mixture well.

Notes: One of the most popular ways of eating lunu miri is alongside kiribath, a simple coconut milk and white rice dish served in squares, diamonds or with the rice rounded into a mound and flattened. Lunu miris is also commonly eaten with roti, while the dish most Sri Lankan tourists will remember is lunu miris served with is egg hoppers, or appam, a bowl-shaped fried coconut and rice crepe that is commonly eaten for breakfast and is a street food favorite. Its bold and hot flavors pair well as a meat marinade, is a topping for grilled fish or roasted veggies, can be used as a mix-in for soups and stews, and as an appetizer with a side of flatbread or raw veggies.

Lunu miris can be made in only five minutes and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, or frozen for a month and still retain its freshness.

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