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Easy Homemade Lunu Miris Recipe

Lunu miris is red onion sambal mixed with chilli, its a classic and authentic Sri Lankan recipe, that is used as a side dish in many main meals.

Lunu Miris

Hands down my mum make the best lunu miris and coconut sambal. This is actually her method and recipe I am using to make this lunu miris. traditionally the lunu miris is made in ‘miris gala’ or wangediya and I have seen my mum make it an enormous amount of time. we had lunu miris with either milk rice or coconut roti every Saturday.

But after travelling overseas, I definitely don’t have big mortar pestle or ‘miris gala’ or the time to be pounding the onion, so I am doing a short cut here by using the blender. This trick I learnt was from my father. and believe me, this will really save you so much time and effort and I can guarantee there is no flavour compromise made using a blender. so why not use the easier option 🙂

What do you eat lunu miris with??

Coconut roti (Sri Lankan pol roti)
Milk rice

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Lunu miris with pol roti (coconut roti)

Why does lunu miris have a intense raw onion flavour

I am going to explain this very scientifically, why it is important to do what I do. the acid in this case lemon or lime juice usually cooks a product. so when the red onion is mixed with acid, it will slowly cook the onion, which in turn will get rid of the raw onion taste. but in order for it to happen, the onion needs to crushed, hence why after blending everything in my recipe, I finally pass it through the mortar pestle so that raw onion taste will be evaporated which in turn will also intensify the sambal flavour.

Can I make lunu miris in advance

For me, the lunu miris actually taste better when it is made in advance because it has time for the flavours to be really absorbed. so its better to make in advance.

can I refrigerate lunu miris?

yes you can, and when you want to serve it, leave it out for one hour to get to room temperature or you can eat it cold as well.

Is it necessary to add chilli flakes and chilli powder both?

yes, it is. chilli flakes will contribute to the chilli flavour whereas chilli powder will contribute to the bright red colour. if you try to replace the chilli flakes with chilli powder you will end up with very spicy lunu miris, and if you try to replace chilli flakes with chilli powder, you will end up with a pale-coloured lunu miris.

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Lunu miris

you can also check my other Sri Lankan recipe

Watch how to make lunu miris

Step by Step recipe how to make lunu miris

Lunu Miris

Easy Homemade Lunu Miris Recipe

Red onion chilli sambal
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 6 people


  • Blender
  • Motar pestle


  • 100 g Red onion Chopped
  • 20 g Chilli flakes
  • 12 g Salt Table salt
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder
  • 20 g Lemon juice/ lime juice If using lime juice then reduce to 15g
  • 20 g Maldive fish Optional


  • Soak Maldive fish in water for 10 minutes, then discard the water and add the Maldive fish to the mortar pestle and pound until it is smashed and palatable ( This step is only required if you wish to add Maldive fish)
  • Place all ingredients in a blender except the Maldive fish and blitz until it looks like a paste
  • Add the blended onion mixture to the mortar pestle and pound until it is well blitz
    ( The reason why we are finishing it off in the mortar pestle is to intensify the taste of the lunu miris, the more you pound, the more bitterness of the red onion gets evaporated and more flavourful the lunu miris gets)
  • Serve with coconut roti, hoppers or milk rice


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