Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Deviled Onion Sambal- Sri Lankan (Spicy)

It's no secret that I love spicy food.  I have been eating spicy food since I could barely walk and this is a very spicy onion dish that I adore.   All I need is bread, butter and this onion sambal and I'm a happy girl. I have actually passed my love for this dish to my daughter and she and I will sit together and eat it for breakfast or as a snack.  This dish is so versatile it can be eaten with rice, roti, bread and even on crackers.   Although this dish is spicy, the spiciness is balanced by some sweetness.   It may have you grabbing for a glass of water, but you'll be going back for seconds once your mouth realizes it's got your taste-buds dancing.  This is my mother's simplified version of a traditional onion sambal (seeni sambal) that we eat in Sri Lanka. Since I love it so much,  I asked my mother to make it for me in bulk so you may see more ingredients in the pictures than  you will require.  I suggest you start with two onions and get comfortable making it.  It will take your idea of what onions can do to a dish to a whole new level.

 Ingredients:
2 medium onion finely sliced or chopped well
1-2Tbs of canola oil
5-6 curry leaves
1 (1 inch piece) cinnamon stick
3 black cloves
3 green cardamom pods
1-2Tbs of red chili powder (to taste)
1-2 tsp of sugar
salt to taste

Note:  You need your onions finely chopped or sliced. My mother does it by hand., but you can use a madoline slicer if you need help with this like I do.   She does not recommend you use a food processor to slice or chop because too much of the onion juice comes out and it becomes watery.

Note2: As in all recipes pull out the cloves, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods before enjoying. :)

 Directions:
Heat your oil in a pan on medium high heat. Add your cinnamon stick, curry leaves, cardamoms and cloves in and allow them to become fragrant for 30-45 seconds.
Add your onions to the oil and start to fry them.  You really need a good balance of oil to onion here.  My mother advised me what I have been doing wrong all this time is that I am "cheap" with my oil and it "steams" the onions more than frying them.  You want the onions to fry not steam to get the right texture and taste.
 
Once the onions start to brown, add your chili powder, sugar and salt next.  Mix well and taste.  The salt and chili should be the main flavors with some sweetness from the sugar in the background. Once the flavors are reached your dish is done. Store in the fridge for 1 week.  Enjoy with rice, bread, roti, chapthi, naan, etc..



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41 comments:

  1. I'm a bit of a spice weenie, but with a little less melt a whole in your tongue heat, I would love this!!

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  2. Wow this looks like my cup of tea, I NEED to make this asap. I love spicy and onions!

    I love it when my mom makes extra of my favorite food for me, its the best!

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  3. This is my favorite one..I love it..Bookmarked

    Aarthi
    http://www.yummytummyaarthi.com/

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  4. I Love sambal,even more spicier,but this one is different than asian version,I never thought use cinamon on sambal,interesting,and looks yummy too :)
    Ridwan

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  5. Slow cooked, caramelized onions is one of my most favorite side dishes! I'm not sure what a sambal is, but it looks right up my alley. Love all of the onions of course, but then the spices and the real spice (the chile powder) - this has GOT to me good! It's been bookmarked. :)

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  6. I tried one sambol recipe from srilankan cuisine,luved it,this one is new for me,,.:)

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  7. Oh Ramona I am really going for this one. I love the spice, in fact the spicier the better. Sounds like spicy caramelized onions. Wonderful.

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  8. Spicy onion sambal - I love it! I can already see my family going crazy for it :) Thank you so much! Have a great day! Hugs!

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  9. I could not take my eyes off this mouthwatering spicy onion Sambal...and the to serve it on a slice of crusty toasted bread would be my Sri Lankan Crostini.
    Thanks for sharing...yumm!!!
    Buzzed you:DDD

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  10. Ramona this looks so delicious, wish I had some right now!

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  11. Just from your pictures I can tell that this is a spicy dish, but it looks very tasty! Thanks for sharing.

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  12. This looks amazing......I love spicy food!

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  13. It's like spicy caramelized onions--what's better than that? I love it!

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  14. Oh wow - I have never had anything like this, but it looks absolutely to die for. The onions must make for such a flavorful spread :) And eating it on bread - yum!

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  15. These onions look delicious! I think I would love spreading this on my bread!

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  16. favourite seeni samba I make the same way looks wonderful

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  17. I am a big fan of spicy foods. And I love onions, this looks wonderful on your bread. Almost likes its own little dip!

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  18. This looks sooo good! I could just eat caramelized onions with a spoon, and I love this variation. This is definitely something I'll have to try once I find out where to get curry leaves...

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  19. Oh, I love onions...and spicy onions sound amazing!!!

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  20. Wow, your pictures look amazing. I'm practically liking my computer screen! I'm definitely bookmarking this recipe for later use. Thank you! :)

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  21. Ramona...this looks fabulous! I could eat just plain, sauteed onions. I just love the sweetness that cooking brings out of them. And I love how you balance the spiciness of this dish with the cinnamon and cloves! I'm looking forward to trying this one! (p.s...I haven't been online as often as usual, so I'm going to be sending you and email shortly!)

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  22. My mouth is watering. I really want to try this. I really like the combination of heat with the warmth of cinnamon and cloves.

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  23. Thats a wonderful idea of a dish. I dont know much sri lankan cuisine, I think so I should check more out thanks for sharing!

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  24. Oh man, this looks like my kind of dish. I am bookmarking this... in pinterest of course :)

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  25. Oh, wow! Spicy is right....but YUM! This is fantastic!

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  26. Although I can't eat spicy I do enjoy onions that are caramelized and soft... looks delicious!

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  27. Ramona, I'm in love with these onions! The color and texture is simply stunning and I really just want to mound these up on that piece of bread... I have featured this post in today's Friday Food Fetish roundup. Let me know if you have any objections and thanks for the inspiration

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  28. Great tips from Mom about not using a food processor and not being stingy with the oil. I would so love to dive into a dish like this.

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  29. I do something similar to this but with out all the yummy spices. I don't know why I never tried it before with them, but I have to now :)

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  30. I've been looking for a good sambal recipe and this is it! Thank you!

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  31. Hi Ramona,

    We have so much in common :) Lately I cannot get enough spicy food. I would love to be snacking on your sambal with some fresh baked naan or rustic bread. Just mouthwatering! Thanks for being a part of the YBR and have a great weekend :)

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  32. I have just made this. We all LOVE it! Everybody has a fiery mouth haha. Thanks for a great recipe :)

    Bettine.

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  33. Oooooh I am loving it. I love only onion dishes. I love the addition of sugar since I myself do that all the time

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  34. Hi!
    I used to live in Sri Lanka in the 90's and my children are half Sri Lankan. I'm a Swede but my ex husband was born and raised in Sri Lanka. I was taught to cook Sri Lankan food but most of the time I had support in the kitchen. After the split up I didn't cook much Sri Lankan dishes due to the fat that it's very hard to get hold of the spices here in Sweden, and once you are used to the real stuff.... However me and my children miss the food a lot and have now, by the kindness of some relatives in Sri Lanka, stocked up some spices and stuff. The problem is, I know most of the dishes only by its Sri Lankan names, ironicly enough, me being a Swede and all :) So, after a long cut, is this "seeni sambal"?
    I am thrilled to read your blog and we have already enjoyed some of your curries. My children happily send word that your mas curry tastes just like Archie's.
    Thank you very much for a great blog and delishious recipes!
    Best regards,
    Anna

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anna! So glad you are enjoying the recipes from my blog. Yes, this is a quick version of seeni sambal. :) Thank you for your kind words. Hope you keep stopping by to check out more Sri Lankan recipes. ~ Ramona

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  35. So much yummier than expected.
    It was quick and so delicious.
    I can't wait to make it again.

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