8 spicy comforting salads from Sri Lanka that gives warm healthy vibes

spicy potato salad in a bowl and lettuce leaves

Care for any innovative ideas of spicy comforting salads option this summer. Read on for all you can eat salad buffet with Sri Lankan spicy comforting salads.

They all start with plenty of vegetables or a little bit of protein and a little bit of seasoned shredded coconut or dressing. Any of these spicy comforting salads are pure flavor to have on its own or as a side with rice and curry meal, bread, or side for a delicious steak dinner. Because who doesn’t need a perfect on the go munch with any of these spicy comforting salads in a quick sandwich or a rice and curry bowl.

Delicious green bean salad with curried coconut Sambol

Spicy comforting salads 1 green bean toasted coconut salad

This warm toasted coconut and green bean salad is perfect balance of crunch and fresh flavor. Shredded coconut infused with turmeric based yellow curry powder, hint of green chilies and black pepper with plenty of lime juice is what tender green beans needs to shine on.

I learned to make my green bean salad this way from a recipe written by renowned Sri Lankan chef Pabilis Silva. Since the first time making it, I have added my own twists to the recipe to make it my own.

Another way of making a similar dish is south Indian beans poriyal. Although both dishes are similar there are significant differences in ingredients that are used to flavor the coconuts. One I am using today is what I make for my family to fit my family’s preferences. My version is whilst still has some heat, is much milder, fresh, and unbelievably crunchy with more coconut and yellow curry flavors in the curry mix.

Spicy comforting salad green beans

Coconut Green bean Salad

Spicy and comforting Sri Lankan warm green bean salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Servings 4


  • 2 tsp of coconut oil
  • 3 sliced curry leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp of freshly crushed black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of ginger
  • 1 tsp of yellow curry powder
  • 1 tsp fish sauce optional
  • 12 oz packet of trimmed green beans sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 cup of freshly grated coconut
  • 2 tsp of lime juice
  • 4 shallots sliced thin


  • Rinse and slice green beans thinly and set aside.
  • Mix shredded coconut with yellow curry powder, fish sauce, salt, and pepper.
  • Add sliced curry leaves, green chili, and ginger to the coconut mixture.
  • Heat a skillet on high and add coconut oil. Add mustard seeds and let it splatter. Add shallots and sliced garlic and sauté for few seconds. Add the coconut mixture.
  • Fry for couple of minutes until coconut warms up and becomes toasted a little.
  • Add green beans and quickly mix with toasty coconuts and cook for another couple of minutes or until green beans start to soften up. You could cook the beans longer if you like the green beans very soft. but I like mine to have a little crunch.
  • Turn the heat off and adjust the seasoning. Finish with lime juice.
  • Serve warm on the side with rice and curry or on its own.
Keyword sauteed green beans, string beans

Sri Lankan Spicy Potato Fry /Spicy potato salad

Spicy potato salad with ciabatta and butter

Sri Lankan spicy potato fry is extremely popular dish in my home. Also, one of my favorite ways of how I prepare potatoes into a side dish. Made by tempering previously par boiled potatoes with plenty of red onions and green chili peppers and spicy powdered red curry blend with little touch of tomatoes just gives a binge worthy spicy tart satisfying salad.

Writing these few lines about potato fry brings back so many memories of favorite food aromas of freshly baked sourdough bread, warming and spicy aromatic dry fish curry dip, coconut Sambol and hot brewing tea.

image of dry fish tempered curry with potatoes chilies and sauce

The spicy comfort of stir fry potatoes sandwiched in the middle of slices of warm sourdough bread slathered with butter with a zip of hot Sri Lankan ginger tea, is my dream meal every passing summer. If it’s not a healthy meal for the body, it’s definitely a good meal for the soul.

Spicy potato salad is a key recipe among my little folder of spicy comforting salads from Sri Lanka. It is a good and hearty meal on its own, with plenty of proteins, carbohydrates, and greens in it.

Original Sri Lankan spicy potato fry has much more heat than the version I make as a salad. I like to add some veggies like bell peppers, kale, and a tomato to add some crunchy balance. Changing vegetables occasionally helps keep this salad interesting and vegetables help mild down spicy flavor besides adding nutrients.

Oftentimes this is completely a plant-based salad for my family, but there are protein choices that you can add to this as well. A little bit of bacon bits, pepperoni slices, fried anchovies, dry fish/ salted cod or grilled chicken or beef, butter fried shrimp all great protein choices.

spicy potato salad in a bowl and lettuce leaves

Spicy Sri Lankan Style Potato Salad

Spicy potato salad is a key recipe among my little folder of spicy comforting salads from Sri Lanka. It is a good and hearty meal on its own, with plenty of proteins, carbohydrates, and greens in it.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Asian Sri Lankan
Servings 4


  • 4 small par boiled potatoes with salt
  • 2 tsp of red curry seasoning paste
  • 1 cup of sliced red onions
  • 2 sliced green chili peppers
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves optional
  • 1 tsp curry leaves
  • 2 tsp lime juice


  • parboiled potatoes peel and cut the potatoes into small cubes or send through grating dish in food processor.
  • Heat teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet in medium heat and add sliced onions and peppers. Cook for a minute or two until soft.
  • Add green chili pepper, curry leaves, and cook for few seconds.
  • Add red curry seasoning base and Sauté couple of minutes. Add potatoes and julienned vegetables, toss to coat. Sprinkle in half a cup of water, cover and cook until potatoes and vegetables are soft, and flavors are absorbed. Give it another toss and adjust the salt to your taste.
  • Add handful of coriander leaves, cover, and turn off the heat.
  • mix and add lime juice
Keyword asian fried potatoes, potato fry, spicy fried potatoes, stir fried potato

This warm and spicy comforting potato salad is ready to go into wrapping of choice to make a delicious sandwich. I served a spoonful of salad with lettuce leaves and sliced cucumber on the side, and it was an instant hit. You could also serve it as a filling inside sandwiches or empanadas.

How to make broccoli everyone’s favorite vegetable with Broccoli Mallum

Broccoli Mallum with fried chilies

My only favorite way of eating Broccoli is as a broccoli malluma. This simple healthy mallum recipe has become a favorite of my non broccoli loving family!

The secret to delicious broccoli mallum is in yellow curry powder and toasted coconut shreds. A tiny pan seared bits of broccoli florets and shredded coconut with warm spice mix gives one of the divine warm comforting salads with broccoli that my kids will gobble up.

The story of broccoli mallum came from my desire to figure out a replacement for my mother’s kathurumurunga Mallum. Perfectly crunchy, hearty, earthy taste that my heart desired. I wanted to have a more accessible green vegetable and a healthy flavorful recipe of spicy comforting salads. Since I discovered this recipe on an Instagram blog homeyfoodies, this has been a constant part of my meal planning.

Broccoli Mallum with fried chillies

Broccoli Coconut Mallum

Delicious Broccoli coconut mallum
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Servings 6


  • 2 medium heads of broccoli
  • 2 tsp of coconut oil
  • 2 curry leaves finely sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp of yellow curry powder
  • 1 tsp fish sauce optional
  • 1 1/2 cup of freshly grated coconut
  • 2 tsp of lime juice
  • 4 shallots finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • salt to taste


  • Mince broccoli florets into small shreds. Set aside
  • Mix yellow curry powder, coconut, salt, shallots, sliced curry leaves and fish sauce together.
  • Add coconut oil to the hot pan and add mustard seeds when they start popping add a stick of cinnamon and crushed red chili flakes. Add shredded broccoli soon after. Keeping the heat high mix and cook broccoli for couple of minutes.
  • Add coconut mixture and cook for another minute. mixing vigorously.
  • Turn the heat off and remove from the stove. Keep the Mallum turning to let the residual steam escape. Check for the seasoning adjust and finish off with lime juice.


keep the heat on high all the time to prevent broccoli from becoming soggy and soft
Keyword broccoli coconut salad, broccoli mallum, roasted broccoli salad

Sweet and spicy touch of beetroot red curry

image of beetroot curry

Call it a relish, a dry tempered curry, or a sweet and spicy salad, this beetroot dish is quite a uniquely delicious flavor combination. Sri Lankan beetroot curry always holds a special place in my heart. It is because this is one of my mother’s favorite curries to make.

Red beetroot curry is made from fresh beetroots, or love beets prepackaged cooked beets for a quick version. The beets must be sliced thinly, into shreds and immersed in spicy red curry sauce cooking in as little oil as possible. Natural sugars of beetroots caramelized with red curry mix in the clay pot and becomes a delicious coating around the shredded beets. Sri Lankan beetroot curry thus has all my heart desires. The aroma, heat, sweetness, and the spice.

Although cooking beets this way is what my mother likes, what she does not know is, her beetroot curry is one of my favorite spicy comforting salads. How I accomplish converting a curry into one of spicy comforting salads is by allowing sauce to fully absorb into beets and letting all the spicy curry flavor to coat the shreds of beets. It can be delicious adding to a wrap or sandwich or on its own.

What goes well with Sri Lankan authentic beetroot curry? It is often served as a side in rice and curry meal combinations. A couple examples are red rice, Sour fish dry curry /Fish ambul thiyal, Kale mallam or red rice, red lentil curry/ light turmeric lemongrass fish curry, and Kale Mallam. In my kitchen It can be delicious adding to a wrap or sandwich or on its own as a salad other than traditional rice and curry menus.

image of beetroot curry

Warm beetroot curry salad

Sweet, spicy nutritious dry tempered beet curry as salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Servings 6


  • 4 medium size beetroots boiled, peeled, and julienned
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 3 tbsp of red curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin powder
  • 1/2 cup of thick coconut cream.
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 green chili peppers
  • 2 curry leaves
  • 2 pieces of pandan leaves
  • 1 inch stick of cinnamon
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • salt to taste


  • Boil, peel, and grate beets into thin shreds. Slicing or julienning is also an option. mix with curry powder and salt set aside.
  • Add tablespoon of coconut oil into heavy bottomed skillet. Heat on high and add mustard seeds and stick of cinnamon. When fragrant and sliced onion, ginger garlic green chili and curry leaves. fry for a few seconds.
  • Add beetroots and coconut milk and pandan leaves. Give everything a gentle mix. cover and simmer on low for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonig. cook until sauce is almost absorbed.
  • squeeze half of a lime before serving.
Keyword beet curry, cooking beets with red curry

Stir fried anchovy kale mallum

Dried anchovies in stir fried dry tempered curries or simply deep-fried anchovies are a favorite snack of Sri Lankans. It’s the Sri Lankan equivalent of bacon bits in salads or the pepperoni chips. This Sri Lankan version of anchovy salad is inspired by the flavors of jackfruit mallum and built on that flavor. Anchovy mallum infused with peppery mustard flavors with hints of yellow curry powder and laced with little savory notes from Malabar tamarind and truly is a fiesta in one bite. A one of a kind among Sri Lankan spicy comforting salads.

Making anchovy salad involves a couple steps in preparing ingredients that are totally worth the effort. Preparing the anchovies right helps to cut down on the smell of fish from anchovies by just leaving the umami flavor in the final dish.

anchovies coconut and fried kale in a bowl

Sri Lankan anchovy salad

Anchovy mallum infused with peppery mustard flavors with hints of yellow curry powder and laced with little savory notes from Malabar tamarind and truly is a fiesta in one bite.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Servings 4


  • 200 grams dried small anchovies
  • one bunch of kale
  • 1 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp red curry powder
  • 2 green chilies minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 11/2 cups grated coconut
  • 1 clove of malabar tamarind
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 2 shallots minced
  • 3 curry Leaves sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper


  • Rinse the anchovies and simmer the anchovies with salt, pinch of yellow curry powder and clove of malabar tamarind. drain and set aside.
  • Slice the kale leaves thin.
  • Mix curry powders, minced garlic, shallots, black pepper, and garlic with grated coconut
  • Heat oil in a shallow pan to high and add mustard seeds. When they are popping, add anchovies and curry leaves. Fry for a couple of minutes.
  • Add grated coconut mixture and continue mixing and cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes until flavors are absorbed and raw taste of coconut disappears. turn the flame off and add lime juice. Give a taste test and adjust seasoning to your liking.
Keyword dried anchovies, fried andchovies

Baked eggplant moju; one-of-a-kind eggplant salad

Eggplant / brinjal moju is one of the well-loved dry curries /warm spicy comforting salads from Sri Lanka. This delicious side dish to any rice and curry meal gives an aura of festive feeling with its peppery mustard vinegar sauce laced with red curry powder.

Brinjal moju tastes best when it’s made three or four days before serving. Allowing the flavors to marinade and sit in the juice helps to develop extraordinarily complex savory flavors, just helps awaken the taste buds. Even though this dish is among spicy comforting salads that is going to take little effort and time to make it is one of exceptional dishes that you will taste from Sri Lanka.

Eggplant moju in a pan

Baked Eggplant Moju

Baked eggplants in a savory sweet sauce from Sri Lanka
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Servings 4


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 10 whole peeled shallots
  • 6 Thai green chilies

Frying /tempering

  • 1 inch pieces of ginger- minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes optional

Sauce and marination

  • 1 tsp red curry powder
  • tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut vinegar
  • 1 tsp yellow curry powder
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup tomato ketchup
  • oil for frying


  • Cut the eggplant into thick strips. Add salt and yellow curry powder to the eggplants, rub the seasoning in marinade for 10 minutes.
  • Deep fry or air fry eggplants until Deep golden brown. baking works as well. They will shrink as they fry. Set fried eggplant strips aside to drain.
  • Blanch whole shallots and green chilies for 1-2 minutes over medium hot oil. Drain on paper towels. set aside for later.
  • Make the sauce by mixing mustard, salt, half of red curry powder, sugar, tomato ketchup and vinegar in a bowl.
  • Heat couple of tablespoons of oil in a pan and fry a teaspoon of minced shallots, ginger, and garlic. Add fried eggplant strips, blanched shallots, green chili, and the sauce. mix gently under low heat. Add crushed red pepper flakes if you like this spicy dish.
  • Taste test and adjust balance the flavors. The dish needs to be in a slightly sweet savory side with a little hint of spicy heat.
  • Cover and let the flavors marinate for a day before serving.
Keyword baked eggplant, fried eggplant salad, grilled eggplant

Spicy coconut tomato salad Sri Lankan style

Coconut sambol tomatoes and arugula in a bowl

Coconut tomato salad is most definitely one of the easiest spicy comforting salads in my recipe collection. It comes together in no time, it is salty, it is savory, it is spicy and delicious, not to mention is very filling. Coconut Sambol is one of the simplest spicy comforting salads that everyone knows or quickly learns how to make.

For my version of spicy comforting salads for my family I like to add lot of different vegetables to the mix and cook the coconuts until everything is fragrant, hot, and savory. That way I would not end up stuffed up on grated coconuts, because I can most definetly finish a bowl of spicy coconut Sambol in one go. Here is my take on coconut Sambol.

Coconut Sambol tomatoes and arugula in a bowl

Coconut sambol with vegetables

Spicy flavored pol sambol with plenty of vegetables
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Servings 4


  • 2 cups scraped coconut
  • 3 shallots sliced
  • 3 dry red chilies
  • 1 tsp Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of whole peppercorns
  • 2 tsp of midlive fish
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 Thai green chilies
  • 1/2 a lime
  • salt to taste


  • 4 small cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 2 small snack peppers


  • Rinse and slice vegetables. set aside to mix in later.
  • Pound peppercorns, salt, Maldive fish, dry red peppers in a mortar and pestle.
  • Add clove of garlic, Spanish powder, and half of shredded coconut (as much as the mortar and pestle would take. ) Pound until mixed. If you have a smaller mortar and pestle, you could just grind spices and mix that with shredded coconut with a hand. Wear gloves to prevent burning sensation from chilies.
  • Slice green chilies and shallots thin and mix in with coconut. heat a shallow skillet and cook the coconut Sambol for few minutes until the raw taste of coconut disappears. give a taste test and adjust the seasoning.
  • Remove from heat and mix in sliced vegetables. Squeeze the lime juice in.
  • Enjoy with bread or rice and curry


Vegetable options for this salad are arugula, bell peppers, tomatoes, grated carrots, air fried eggplants, thinly sliced kale leaves. Use any one or all the vegetables in the mix. 
This salad is a delicious accompaniment with sliced bread, sandwiches, and steamed white rice. 
Keyword coconut sambol, pol sambol, scraped coconut

Deviled fish leeks and peppers

leeks peppers and fish stakes with spices

Final of my favorite spicy comforting salads is inspired by deviled fish from Sri Lanka. It technically is a dry tempered curry when it’s made according to typical Sri Lankan recipe with plenty of chilies and tomato ketchup, dried fish, and leeks. Oftentimes my mother uses fried anchovies, salted fish, good amount of curry spice mix and cook everything down to a soft texture.

I call it one of my spicy comforting salads because I use lot more vegetables, leave them crunchy instead of cooking vegetables until soft. I also use plenty of cooked fish flakes/ steaks.

Once I make my mom’s dry fish fry converted into one of warm and spicy comforting salads, I can use it in pizza, I can put it into sandwiches, I can eat it with chips or rice and curry. It’s a dish that brings me joy. Thats why I love to share it with you.

leeks peppers and fish stakes with spices

Devilled fish and leeks salad

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Servings 4


  • 1 clay pot optional


  • 1 lb. fish steaks firm fish like tuna, mackerel, amberjack
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp freshly crushed black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water

For the tempered salad

  • 2 leeks Stem and some of the soft green leaves included
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 Campari tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of Malabar tamarind
  • 1 small onion minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 inch ginger minced
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 1 piece of pandan leaves optional
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 2 tsp of oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp red chili flakes
  • 2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp lime juice


  • Place fish in clay pot mixed with salt, pepper, turmeric, Malabar tamarind. Add water and cook on low heat until fish is cooked through and firm. Break in to bite sized flakes/ pieces and set aside. discard Malabar tamarind.
  • Trim the leeks of roots, tip of the leaves. Rinse well and slice into thin rings.
  • Cut bell pepper into small strips and quarter the tomatoes.
  • Heat a skillet on medium heat and add oil. When the oil is at smoking point add mustard seeds and fry for few seconds, add ginger garlic, onions, curry leaves, pandan leaves and green chili. fry for a minute.
  • Add sliced leeks, bell pepper fry for 3 to 4 minutes. add yellow curry powder, oyster sauce, mustard sauce, and red chili flakes. mix everything gently. taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Add cooked fish pieces and gently mix everything in. Turn the heat off and add lime juice.



  • Some recipes use fried fish, instead of boiled. I prefer boiled fish flakes in this salad, however if you would like to fry the fish steaks do so! It is delicious too. Instead of boiling, dust the fish with curry powder, black pepper and salt infused flour and deep fry or air fry until firm and golden.  You can then follow the rest of the recipe to make the salad.
  • You could skip using chili flakes if you like mild flavor instead of spicy.
  • What are the other proteins that can be used in this recipe? Dried fish, bacon, Italian sausages, grilled chicken, beef steaks, grilled paneer,
  • Want to keep this completely plant based? Skip fish and use grilled firm tofu or tempeh and omit adding oyster sauce and add a vegan coconut amino sauce. It will have a different flavor, but still be delicious.
Keyword steam fish recipe

That concludes the recipes of my most beloved warm and spicy comforting salads. I hope it will give inspiration to make spicy salads with Sri Lankan curry mixes. Enjoy!