This is a staple dish in Sri Lanka. This salad is served with most of the main meals. Sri Lankans eat lot of rice and food made with rice flour. Typical Sri Lankan main meals are rice, bread, pol roti (flat bread made with wheat flour and grated coconut), string hoppers (steamed rice noodles), pittu (steamed rice couscous with grated coconut) and hoppers (half moon shaped pancakes made with fermented rice flour)
Although coconut is not as big as Ceylon Tea plantations it is also one of the main agricultural crop in Sri Lanka. Hence coconut is used liberally in Sri Lankan cuisine along with locally available spices. All our curries are made with coconut cream and we add grated coconut to our vegetable stir fries and raw vegetable salads to add sweetness and texture.
Sambol is made with freshly grated coconut and is blended along with onion, curry leaves and chili powder. Traditionally it is blended using a mortar and pestle. It is believed that using a stone pestle to blend them gives a special taste.