MasterChef at Home: Dulan’s 10-Minute Sambol Recipe

MasterChef at Home: Dulan’s 10-Minute Sambol Recipe

Fans of the latest season of MasterChef Fans and Favourites for 2022 will know that after a testing Adriano Zumbo Pressure Test, Dulan Hapuarachchi’s time on the series sadly came to an end. Following his departure, Dulan shared one of his favourite quick and easy recipes with Lifehacker Australia – a recipe for pol (coconut) sambol.

MasterChef sambol recipe Dulan
MasterChef recipe, sambol by Dulan Hapuarachchi. Image supplied.

On the dish, Dulan explained over email that “pol (which means coconut in Sinhala) sambol is one of the, if not the most popular sambol dish you’ll find in Sri Lanka”.

“…the flavour profiles you find here are so simple yet addictive. You can have one its own with bread/roti; have with boiled Cassava; with rice and curry or string hoppers and if you want to be fancy – fry it in a bit of oil with curry leaves.

“Every Sri Lankan will have their own way of making pol sambol, but let me teach how I do it – it’s so simple I’m sure you will have most of the ingredients at home already, so try it tonight!”

Usually, a mortar and pestle is needed when making this sambol recipe, but Dulan shared that if you don’t have one on hand, “don’t stress – you can finely chop onion/garlic and mix it all well with your hands”.

MasterChef recipe: Dulan Hapuarachchi’s Pol (Coconut) Sambol

Sambol recipe Masterchef
Dulan’s Sambol recipe MasterChef 2022. Image supplied

Cooking time: Approx 10 mins 

What you’ll need for this MasterChef sambol recipe:


  • 100g Desiccated or fresh coconut  
  • 15g onion roughly cut
  • 10g garlic roughly cut
  • 40g chilli flakes (to taste)
  • Maldivian dried fish (optional) 10g
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Salt to taste


  • Mortar & pestle optional

Directions for this MasterChef sambol recipe:

  1. In a mortar & pestle or a blender/chopper – add the onion, garlic, ½ tsp salt and crush all until it’s a roughly a paste
  2. Add in the coconut, chilli flakes (as much as you can handle), Maldivian dried fish, lemon juice and mix well.
  3. Now taste and add chilli, lemon or salt as required.
  4. Feel free to add other ingredients like finely chopped green chillies, curry leaves, pickled lemon (instead of lemon juice). Experiment and make it your own!
  5. Enjoy this with your favourite curry/roti or even a toastie (one of my faves is shredded mozzarella, vegemite and pol sambol… YUM!!)

MasterChef Australia Fans & Favourites 2022 airs Sunday – Thursday at 7.30 pm on 10 and 10 play on demand.

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