Sri Lankan Seeni Sambol Bun

Sri Lankan Seeni Sambol Buns

Sri Lankan Seeni Sambol Buns often called soft and fluffy brioche buns with savoury caramelized onion relish that has tangy notes and sweetness, is a delicious option for any meal. This is ideal for snacks, breakfasts, or picnics.

In Sri Lanka, we have fish buns, beef buns, vegetable buns, and the second most popular bun is Seeni Sambol Bun. Although the bread dough of the large Seeni Sambol Bun contains eggs, it is eaten as a vegetarian dish.

As a kid, my first choice was the fish bun, but there were certain days when my parents would go vegetarian, so this was my alternative for those occasions. In a nation with so much history and culture, over 20% of the population adhere to vegetarian diets. It’s also due to religious convictions.

This recipe often pair well with Instant Allam Bellam Chutney.

Looking for similar bun recipes? Check out our Eggless hamburger bun recipe.

Step by step recipe how to make Sri Lankan Seeni Sambol Buns

Seeni Sambol

PREP TIME – 10 mins

COOK TIME – 20 mins

TOTAL TIME – 30 mins

COURSE – Side Dish

CUISINE – Sri Lankan

SERVINGS – 6 people


  • Pan


  • 4 Red onion Sliced thinly
  • 4 tbsp White sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Chilli flakes
  • 1 Cinnamon
  • 5 cardamom crushed
  • 7 Tamarind seeds soaked in water
  • 6 Cloves crushed
  • 4 Tbsp Oil Canola, vegetable, coconut
  • 1 tbsp Maldive fish Optional
  • 5 Curry leaves


  • To take the tamarind essence, place the tamarind seeds in a small bowl and add 1/4 cup of water, let it sit for 10 minutes. Then massage the seeds, until the water becomes brown and all the tamarind essence have been converted into the water. take the seeds out and leave aside.
  • ( The seeds can be further soaked to get more tamarind flavour)
  • Place the sliced onion, tamarind juice, curry leaves, oil, chilli flakes, salt in a large pan and place it on medium fire
  • Let it cook for about 5 minutes, once its cooked and soft, add in the cinnamon, crushed cloves, cardamom and cook for further 5 minutes
  • Once the onions are really soft, add in half of the sugar, Maldive fish cook for 5 minutes, then turn off the fire and cover with a lid and leave it for 5 minutes.
  • Once again turn on the fire to low heat, add in the rest of the sugar and let it cook for 15-20 minutes on low heat until really caramelised and soft. The colour should be dark.
  • The taste should be a good balance of saltiness, sweetness and sour. if the sourness is not enough add more tamarind
  • ( in the last part of cooking do not cover with a lid)

Sri Lankan Seeni Sambol Buns

PREP TIME – 2 hrs

COOK TIME – 15 mins

TOTAL TIME – 2 hrs 15 mins

COURSE – bread

CUISINE – Sri Lankan

SERVINGS – 6 people


  • Oven


  • Click here to access the brioche recipe. Start this recipe from step 8 of the brioche recipe
  • Once doubled in size dust flour to the work surface and flatten the edges of the dough. don’t flatten the middle as it needs to be fluffy
  • Add 2 Tbsp of the filling inside, fold the top and bottom part of the dough and seal in the middles, then fold the sides
  • Dust flour on to a baking tray and place the buns on the tray leaving a sufficient amount of space in between the buns. The unfolded surface should face up
  • Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise for the second time in a warm area
  • Preheat the oven at 175C
  • After it has risen, egg wash the top of the buns
  • Bake it in the oven for 13-15 minutes until it has golden brown colour on the top
  • Once it comes out of the oven the top will be hard. Leave it outside for 10 minutes until it softens.
  • Enjoy!

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