8 shallots
8 fresh curry leaves
a handful of fresh mint leaves
½ daikon
2 carrots
½ kohlrabi
2 limes
Maldive fish flakes – smoked, dried tuna flakes; you could use bonito or shaved katsuoboshi flakes instead (optional)
½ teaspoon salt

This fresh, citrussy, summery sambol was invented by my dear friend and chef, Katja Tausig, who came to Sri Lanka with me on holiday and got stuck in cooking with Mum and the aunties. Daikon is that long white, carrot-shaped radish you might not have cooked before, but seen in Asian or African shops. It has a peppery, fresh taste, which is delicious in this bright, crunchy sambol. If you can’t get hold of daikon, any radishes will do. Instead of a traditional single-ingredient sambol like carrot or green mango, Katja bought some kohlrabi, daikon and carrot in our local market in Nelliady and made a slaw-inspired sambol (which she’s calling ‘slambol’) with some garden mint and plenty of lime. The aunties were impressed, and it’s become a favourite to remake. It’s nice to cut the vegetables into little sticks so they have some crunch and bite.


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1.Peel and finely slice the shallots. Shred the curry leaves and mint as finely as you can.
2.Peel and then chop the daikon, carrots and kohlrabi into little sticks.
3.Zest and juice the limes.
4.Mix everything together, including the Maldive fish flakes, if using, in a bowl and season with salt.
5.Be generous with the lime and lime zest.

This is an edited extract
from Rambutan: Recipes
from Sri Lanka by Cynthia
Shanmugalingam, photography
by Alex Lau, published by
Bloomsbury $52.99. See
our review.