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.
Roti and luni miris, a class combination
Sri Lankan food can often be time consuming and labour intensive. It’s well worth the effort but sometimes it’s difficult to find the time on a busy weeknight. Pol Roti is an exception. Easy, quick and tasty, it’s something we often eat during the week when the need for curry hits us and rice just won’t cut it.
It took us a while to make Roti here in Seattle. Every single bag of coconut we found was “sweetened”. We finally happened upon it at the largely organic market WHOLE FOODS, and we’ve never looked back. Thank goodness, can you imagine life without pol sambol, roti or Anzac Biccies? Disaster!
Roti is delicious by itself and especially with lunu miris (recipe below). It’s also goes perfectly with our chicken curry and a generous smear of butter!
Serves 2-3 (Makes 8 medium sized Rotis)
- 2 cups of plain flour
- I cup dessicated coconut
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil
- Enough luke warm water to make a dough
In a bowl place all the dry ingredients and the oil. Mix until the coconut is evenly distributed.
Now slowly add enough warm water to make a dough that comes to together in a ball. I used about 1 cup.
Here you have 2 options;
Option 1: you can flour your bench and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out. You can then cut the dough using a round cutter to get uniform circles. Then repeat until all the dough is used up.
I decided to go the other way
Option 2: Divide the large ball of dough into 8 small balls. Now press the dough flat with the tips of your fingers until the roti is about 1/2 cm thick.
Place a frying pan or crepe pan on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Place the roti on there one or two at a time. I like the roti to get some nice dark brown patches and keep turning them until I have some colour on both sides.
Cook all the roti and serve warm with Lunu miris (quite literally onion and chilli sambol).
Uncooked rotis freeze really well so if you have extra freeze them with greaseproof paper between the rotis and then sealed in a ziploc bag. You can then cook them straight from frozen.
- 1/2 a small red onion chopped
- 3/4 tbsp. chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp. maldive fish flakes
- 1 small clove of garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp lemon juice
In the bowl of a food processor place your onion, chilli flakes, maldive fish flakes, garlic and pepper. Now whizz it up until the onion is finely chopped and all the ingredients are well mixed. Place the contents in bowl and add the salt and lemon juice to taste. Mix and serve with your warm roti!
Note: If you don’t have a food processor use a mortar and pestle and grind the ingredients together and add the salt and lemon juice last.