Sri Lankan kale mallung is a delicious kale stir fry with grated coconut. Flavorful mallung is a side dish that pairs well with rice.
Theme of the Week – Global Cuisine
For this week’s global cuisine, the second dish is Sri Lankan Kale Mallung or Mallum which I served with rice and some dhal curry. Mallung is a side dish where cooked leafy vegetables are mixed with grated coconut. Wild cabbage leaves mallung is very popular in Sri Lanka and those leaves are lot similar to kale. At least one variety of mallung is a must in a Sri Lankan meal.
What is Kale Mallung?
Mallung or mallum means ‘mix up’. Traditionally, finely chopped leafy vegetables and grated coconut are cooked in a dry skillet and seasoned to taste. Newer versions of the recipe use some oil but in minimal quantity. Since coconut oil is common in Sri Lankan cooking, I used it as well. Season mallungs with either red chilies, green chilies and chili powder, or a combination of any of the three. In creative versions of mallungs such as cauliflower and broccoli mallungs, a small stick of cinnamon goes a long way.
Why Kale Mallung?
Kale is a superfood loaded with nutrients. It is rich in iron, calcium, vitamins, minerals and fiber. My usage of kale thus far is limited to soups and a dal. There are numerous kale mallung recipes online and each version looks crunchy, delicious and irresistible. So I had to try it! Crunchy kale mallung tastes a lot like kale chips. Though it is a side dish for rice, it makes a wonderful side dish even with grilled meats and a great snack.
Sri Lankan Kale Mallung Recipe
Kale mallung is a quick kale and coconut stir fry
- 250 grams Kale or a small bunch
- 1 tsp Coconut Oil
- ¼ tsp Mustard Seeds
- ¼ tsp Cumin Seeds
- 2 long Red Chillies or to taste
- ½ small Onion or ⅓ cup when sliced
- 6 Curry Leaves
- ¾ tsp Salt or to taste
- 2 tbsp grated fresh Coconut
- Wash kale and pluck the leaves. If the stem is very tender, use it as well.
Finely chop kale leaves and leave it in a colander to drain. Leave it for 1 hour or put it in a salad spinner. When pressed for time, pat dry with paper towels.
- Heat oil in a pan, add cumin, mustard seeds and let the seeds splutter.
- Thrown in the red chilies and let brown.
Add onion, curry Leaves, some salt and sauté on high flame until onions are soft.
- Gradually add kale leaves and stir until leaves wilt.
Cover the pan and cook for a minute, then uncover and continue stir frying on high flame until leaves are cooked. I prefer crispy and not too soft kale.
For softer kale, cook a little longer and mind you kale is thick and takes longer to cook when compared to spinach.
- Sprinkle grated coconut and give a good stir.
- Taste mallung and adjust salt to taste.
- Serve hot with steaming rice.
- Dry Coconut - Use fresh or frozen coconut. If using dry coconut, soak grated dry coconut in water for ½ - 1 hour.
- Variation - Use combination of red and green chilies or only green chilies.