Chili Paste with Maldive Fish

Umbalakada Sambola is a delicious spicy dish from Sri Lanka. It is more likely a chili paste. Nowadays, Umabalakada Sambola plays a major role in most function menus.

Maldive Fish

Umbalakada (Maldive Fish) is cured Tuna and it is traditionally prepared in Maldives. Maldive Fish/Umbalakada is popular in Sri Lankan cooking. We add small quantity of this into most of our dishes as a flavor enhancer. On the other way it adds protein to our vegetable dishes. Actually umbalakada is not dried salted fish. This is harder than salted fish.


In past, it is a main export of Maldives to Sri Lanka. However most Sri Lankan dishes require adding of Maldive fish same as other spices. But still it is optional. Nowadays it is easy to buy as small slices and in packets. I always buy few packets from Sri Lanka and can keep for few months.

Chili Paste with Maldive Fish
Recently I prepared this dish and it was good in taste. My recipe is for small quantity, however this can keep for few days if you prepare in a large amount.

Sri Lankan Recipes
Here is the recipe for Sri Lankan Umbalakada Sambola (Chili Paste with Maldive Fish)

Ingredients (2-3 servings)
1 large size onion,sliced
2 tbsp Maldive Fish (Umbalakada) ,sliced to thin small pieces
1 tbsp red chili flakes
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 sprig curry leaves
Salt as per taste
Cooking oil

First, deep fry onion till golden brown and keep aside.
In another pan, heat 1-2 tbsp oil. Once it is hot add garlic and curry leaves. When garlic is golden brown, add Maldive Fish and chili flakes. Mix well. Then add fried onion. Adjust salt and remove from the heat.
Umbalakada Sambola is ready to serve. This can be kept few days if stored in a closely sealed jar/bottle.

Sri Lankan Cuisine

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