Seeni Sambal (Sweet and Spicy Onion Relish)

READY IN: 40mins
Recipe by UmmBinat

ZWT6 Sri Lanka/South India. Seeni sambol is slightly sweet because of the caramelized onions and the added jaggery. The amount of chili powder can be adjusted to make it as spicy as you want. The onions can be deep fried and vinegar used in place of the tamarind. It is a perfect side for rice, idli,dosai or chapathi. South Indian or more specifically Tamil Nadu cuisine and SriLankan/Tamilian cuisine. Though the spices and the ingredients used are more or less the same the resulting dishes taste very different. From Note: I have not made this recipe, yet have enjoyed this condiment many times made by a Sri Lankan acquaintance's mother. Good with Stringhoppers too!!!

Top Review by Sydney Mike

A friend of mine was able to locate the two key ingredients for this recipe that I couldn't find, so this recipe was made as given here (though doubled), & my friend got half of this great tasting relish! Great with rice (as suggested), but we also liked it in a tortilla wrap with rice & beans! [Made & reviewed while touring Asia with the ZWT6]

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat oil in a pan, add the curry leaves, onions, ginger and garlic and sauté until the onion starts to brown.
  2. Add the chili powder, salt, tamarind extract and continue to cook on low heat until the onion comes together 20-25 minutes.
  3. Add the jaggery at the end when your required consistency is reached.
  4. Continue to cook for a few more minutes until the jaggery is incorporated well.
  5. Enjoy with rice, idli, dosai (I don't like those at all), chapathi or stringhoppers.
  6. This condiment can stay for at least a week refrigerated.

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