Spicy Caramelised Onion Sambol

Preparation info
  • Serves


    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      35 min

Appears in
Chilli & Mint: Indian Home Cooking from A British Kitchen

By Torie True

Published 2021

  • About

This deliciously spiced Sri Lankan onion sambol, known as seeni sambol, is always a hit. It involves a lot of stirring, but the effort is worth it. Unlike the British version of onion chutney, which often requires vinegar, this one does not and therefore should be consumed within a week.


  • 5 large red onions
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or rapeseed oil
  • 3


  1. First, thinly slice the red onions into half-moons using a mandoline or the thin slicer mode on a Magimix food processor.
  2. Heat the oil in a large deep pan, then add the lightly bruised cloves, green cardamom, pandan leaf, curry leaves, green chillies and sliced garlic. Move everything around the pan for a minute to release the aromas before adding the red onion