Seeni Sambol | Lonumedhu

Seeni Sambol


A few of you guys wrote to us asking whether we could come up with a Seeni Sambol recipe. So here it is.

Making Seeni Sambol is pretty straightforward. But you’ll have to keep an eye on the onions. You’ll have to cook them slowly so that they turn brown and soft. If you cook them on high heat they’ll turn crispy.

Another thing that we should probably mention is the onion to hikimas (dried tuna) ratio. We like to have lots of hikimas in it, and therefore our recipe has loads of it, but if you prefer more onions, you can of course cut down on the hikimas or use more onions.

Serves: 4


  • 4 large onions
  • 2/3 cup dried tuna flakes (muguri hikimas)
  • 15 curry leaves
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 6 inch piece of cinnamon (broken into two)
  • 3 inch piece raanbaa
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tbsp. sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp. tamarind pulp (or to taste)
  • 8 tbsp. water
  • 2 ½ tsp. dried chilli flakes (or to taste)
  • ¼ tsp. salt (or to taste)


  1. Slice the onions evenly and thinly.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot and to it, add the sliced onions and curry leaves, raanbaa, cinnamon, cardamom pods with their ends snipped off, and sugar.
  3. Stir frequently and cook on low heat until the onions turn soft and brown. It’s going to take a while; for us it took around half an hour. If you are wondering about the colour you have to aim for, it has to be a bit darker brown compared to, for example, the colour we aim for when browning onions for curries.
  4. Add the tamarind pulp, chilli flakes and the water and stir well to combine. Let it cook for an additional minute.
  5. Stir in the hikimas; if you think the mixture is too dry, add in a little bit more water, a tablespoon at a time. Add in the salt as well. Cover the pot and on low heat, let it cook for another ten to fifteen minutes.
  6. Before you call it done, remember to have a taste and make any final adjustments. It has to be a nice mix of sweetness, sourness and hotness, with a little bit of crunch.

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About Lonumedhu

Lonumedhu is about eating great food right here in the Maldives.

Our easy to follow recipes use locally available ingredients.

In our blog you will find food news, interviews with chefs and cooks, useful information about eating out and other foodie reads. 


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