Sweat rolling down your face. FIrst your mouth goes numb, and then the sensation envelops your esophagus and stomach. Quickly, you reach for water. Then you scoop rice into your mouth to try and balance out the intense heat of the meal you are eating.
Sri Lanka is renowned for its spicy food. It is really quite delicious, but if you’re not careful it can be a challenge. You must eat strategically here, as most meals are a combination of rice and three to five servings of curries or other side dishes. Saving a portion of mild food until the end helps cleanse your palate.
One of my favorite dishes in Sri Lanka is Pol Sambol, a sweet and spicy dish made out of coconut. It’s refreshing, chewy, and savory. Tonight I made some of this for dinner, and I’ve included the recipe I followed. All you need is one coconut, a tomato, onion, lime, some garlic, and a few spice.
- Grate a bowl of coconut
- Chop one small purple onion, peel and chop 2 cloves of garlic, chop one small tomato
- Add a scoop of red chili powder and course black pepper and mix with the coconut
- Mix tomato with coconut mixture
- Pound (with a mortar and pestle) the onion, then add garlic, then coconut mixture. Pound together
- Add juice of one lime and mix by hand in a bowl