Brussel sprouts and I have a pretty good relationship, thanks mainly to this dish. I didn’t suffer the overboiled, over cooked, covered-in-cheese-to-hide-the-taste brussel sprouts growing up. My mum discovered brussel sprouts late in life (I don’t think they exist in Sri Lanka) and so did what any Sri Lankan would do, make a mallum. A mallum is a uniquely Sri Lankan dish of wilted greens seasoned with coconut and spices. Brussel sprouts make a lovely textured green in this dish, with just a hint of bitterness.
I love this dish additionally because there’s no finely chopping greens. In Sri Lanka, a home cook’s prowess is measured by how finely they are able to slice the greens for a mallum or sambol (the raw version). I cannot slice a nice mallum, ask my mum. My leaves are always different sizes and different shapes. Therefore, my favourite things to make mallum out of always fit nicely into a food processor. In saying that, this recipe works great with kale, parsley, carrot leaves as well as the more food processor friendly broccoli or cauliflower.
- 350 g brussel sprouts
- 180 g dessicated coconut, rehydrated (you’ll need 3-4 tablespoons of coconut milk and hot water for this)
- 1 tbsp. mustard seeds
- 1/2 red onion chopped
- 3-4 dried red chillis chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1/2 stick of cinnamon
- curry leaves
Trims and halve your brussel sprouts before removing any discolored or yucky outer leaves. Then give them a rinse and place them in a food processor. Process for a few minutes until they’re finely chopped.
If you’re using desiccated coconut rehydrate it at this point . In a bowl mix together the coconut, coconut milk and hot water. Place in the microwave for 30 seconds and let it cool. This helps rehydrate the coconut and get back some of the coconut flavour that is lost in the desiccation process.
In a large frying pan add a little oil, the mustard seeds, cinnamon, chillis, curry leaves and garlic. Fry for a few minutes until the mustard seeds start to pop.
Now add the onion and allow the onions to soften.
Finally add the brussell sprouts and coconut to the pan and stir fry for about 5 minutes until the greens are just wilted. At this point taste the mallum and add salt as needed.
Serve warm or if you always make heaps like me, cool it down and place a portion in the freezer. This mallum freezes beautifully!