Kale Baddum

There was an episode of Modern Family a few years back where they declared that “kale is the new spinach”. I’m going to declare that in my book kale has become the new “gotu kola” Gotu Kola, sometimes called pennywort is a South Asian herb/ green that is not only tasty but has a multitude of health benefits. Unfortunately it also likes to grow in a warm, swampy climate so my chances of finding it in Seattle are fairly non-existant.

We ran into a lady at a farmer’s market who used it as an ingredient in her organic tea but outside of saying she sources her gotu kola from ‘somewhere in Oregon”, she couldn’t really help us find the stuff. So, we’ve taken to finding substitutes. This “badduma” or “fried dish” as it literally translates to, is often served in Sri Lanka with deep fried gotu kola. In the abscence of such luxuries and perhaps for something a little different, we’ve made it here today with some kale, or more correctly kale chips. It’s a delicious combination and  a fabulous condiment that adds a great textural element to any meal.




  • I bunch kale
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 4 small red onions peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 1 cup deep friend sprats *
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chilli flakes


Preheat oven to 350F/180C Prepare the kale by removing the stems and cutting in 2-3 inch pieces. Wash and dry well. Toss the kale in some olive oil, place in a single layer on an oven tray and bake for 20-25 mins or until crispy.

While the kale is cooking, fry the onions, garlic and cashews until golden and crispy. Drain well and set aside.


In a large bowl mix together the onions, garlic, cashews, sprats (if using), lime juice, salt, chilli powder and chilli flakes.  Make sure the onions etc are well coated in the spices. Finally at the kale and mix just enough to evenly distribute the spices.

This is a fabulous condiment best served with steamed white rice and something simple like dhal.


HP1B7351* Sprats are a small dried fish available from most Asian grocers. They are salty and distinctively flavoured, much like anchovies. If you want to use them, I suggest washing them first, drying them well and deep frying them much in the same way as you would the onions and cashews.


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