A very popular garnish served in Sri Lanka is Pol Sambol. It is a traditional Sri Lankan dish that makes use of the easily obtainable coconut that grows in abundance all over the island and the little purple onions that are a beloved favourite food of the people here. We love it. And while the ingredients remain the same, the variations are as many as there are people that make it!
Here is a recipe that I like:
1/2 cup finally chopped purple onion
1 finely chopped clove of garlic
1 tsp dried red chili flakes (2 tsp if you like it hot!)
5 curry leaves, chopped, or crumbled if using dried
3 tsp soy sauce (traditionally, use 3 tsp Maldive fish flakes)
1 tsp ground black pepper (I leave it out - I am not a black pepper fan)
1 cup fresh or dried unsweetened coconut flakes (if using dried coconut, add a little warm water and let sit until absorbed)
juice of 1/2 lime
salt to taste
Put everything into a blender, mortar, or bowl and mix or mash until the coconut turns orange.
Serve with rice, hoppers (a type of savoury pancake), or string hoppers (a type of noodle pancake), or basically anything!