Sponsoring a child from another country allows you an insight through their eyes to a different culture. One of the many ways that we share our culture is through food. While most people eat very basic and simple meals during the year, on special occasions, if they can afford it, families try to eat something special to celebrate. As the Sri Lankan New Year starts on 14 April this weekend is the perfect time to try a special Sri Lankan recipe or two.

Our Fundraising Coordinator Lindsay Bennett recently discovered a love of Sri Lankan food including Pol Sambol. Lindsay says “It’s a delicious side dish that gets served with everything, and is amazing with curries!”

Our Communications Intern Pip Hansen also has her own favourite dish, Devilled Potatoes, also known as Ala Thel Dala: “I love potatoes, so this one is a fav! You can tailor the heat by adding more or less chilli (I’ll admit that I’m a wuss, so it’s usually less for me!). It’s a great side, or a quick meal of its own.”

Both their recipes can be found on the SBS website (click on the recipe name to go to the original website)

Pol SambolPol Sambol (c) Brett Stevens / sbs.com.au

Pol Sambol

2 cups freshly grated coconut or

2 cups of desiccated coconut, plus 1 tbsp coconut milk

1Asian red eschalot (see Note), finely chopped (Asian red eschalots are available from select greengrocers and Asian food shops)

1lime, juiced

1 tbsp sweet paprika

2 tsp ground chilli

1 tsp dried chilli flakes

3 tsp caster sugar

2 tsp Maldive fish (Maldive fish are dried fish flakes, available from Sri Lankan and select Indian food shops. Grind bigger pieces with a mortar and pestle.)


Using a mortar and pestle, grind all the ingredients with ½ tsp salt until combined. Alternatively, use a food processor.

Devilled Potatoes (c) Brett Stevens / sbs.com.au

Devilled Potatoes

6 (1.2 kg) large potatoes, peeled, cut into 3 cm cubes

80 ml (⅓ cup) vegetable oil

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 long green chilli, thinly sliced

15 curry leaves

1 tsp black mustard seeds

1garlic clove, crushed

1 tbsp Maldive fish (see egg curry recipe note)

3 tsp dried chilli flakes

¼ tsp ground turmeric

1 tomato, finely chopped


Cook potatoes in a pan of boiling water for 10 minutes until almost cooked. Drain. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large, heavy-based pan over high heat. Add onion, chilli, curry leaves and mustard seeds, and stir for 2 minutes or until onion starts to soften slightly. Reduce heat to medium, then add garlic, Maldive fish, chilli flakes and turmeric, stirring to combine. Add tomato, season generously with salt, then cook for 2 minutes or until tomato begins to break down. Increase heat to high, add potatoes and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until potatoes are cooked and coated in spices; add a little water if the mixture becomes too dry. Serve.

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