Mallum is Sri Lanka’s answer to a salad. A bevy of greens wilted, spiced and combined with shredded coconut amongst other wonderful spices. It’s often served as a condiment, an addendum to a meal. Something to add flavour, colour and vivid green health.
It’s a healthy alternative to lettuce and greens doused in dressing and I know for me it helps balance the colours in a meal. I struggle to eat without some green on my plate,
When I made this, I used silver beet and some outer leaves of cabbage from my parent’s garden. Green spinach, kale, collard greens are all easily used.
The trick to this is to slice the greens as finely as possible. It’s a skill I lack so, like me, do the best you can.
- 200g greens, washed and dried (5-6 leaves)
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 1/2 red onion finely chopped
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp. maldive fish
- 2 dried chillies finely sliced
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- salt to taste
Finely slice the greens. I find rolling them tightly into a cigar shape and using a sharp knife is the easiest way to get a fine slice.
In a small frypan add the oil. When hot, add the curry leaves, mustard seeds and onion. Fry until the onion is soft.
Add the chopped greens and cook until just wilted. Now add the coconut, mustard seeds, turmeric and salt, Mix well until just warmed through.
Serve warm with fluffy white rice.
When I served this soup to my brother-in-law, Firehouse Junior, a couple of weeks ago he confessed something to me. I cooked the family a meal at some point, soon after his brother and I had first started dating. Walking into the kitchen he had discovered me chopping pumpkin and concluded that pumpkin soup was on the menu. He promptly walked away, secretly dismayed at the thought of eating pumpkin soup for dinner. It was not his favourite thing to eat. Being the polite young man he was, he dutifully waited for me to finish cooking, and ate the soup given to him…and enjoyed it. He tells me he has been a pumpkin soup fan ever since. Furthermore, he will now try the food I put in front of him with an open mind.
I don’t think he had any strong feelings towards tomato soup prior to my serving this, but suffice it to say, the man is now a fan. On describing the recipe, he was also convinced it was easy enough for him to make…and healthy enough for lunches. As Firehouse Junior faces the prospect of living solo later this year, I think these recipes will come in mighty handy.
- Olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tin chopped tomato
- 1 bottle passata
- 5-6 piquillo/roasted peppers chopped
- honey/salt/pepper to taste
- fresh basil and cream to serve
In a large pot, heat the olive oil and soften the onions and garlic. When softened, add the chopped carrots and celery and cook till softened. To the softened vegetables add the balsamic vinegar and oregano. Give the vegetables and herbs a good stir and add the tinned tomatoes, passata and peppers. Fill the passata bottle with water and add that to the pan as well.
Bring the pot to a low boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Puree the soup in a blender (for a very smooth texture) or using a stick blender (a slightly thicker texture) and taste for seasoning. Adjust as necessary. Finally, place the soup back on the heat and add the honey to slightly sweeten the soup and balance the acidity of the tomatoes and vinegar.
Serve with some cream and garnish with basil to serve.