Turnip leaves Mallung/Mallum (Sri Lankan simple stir-fry with greens)
I love trying out different cuisines and have been lucky to have wonderful neighbours from whom I have learnt different cooking styles. My love for Sri Lankan cuisine started back in the US when we lived in Minnesota for a brief period. There was one Sri Lankan restaurant in the neighbourhood and we loved the fiery food there. Though it is similar to South Indian cuisine(especially Kerala cuisine), they are heavy on the spices and it’s definitely not for those who have a weak stomach.
When we moved to Sydney, I was lucky to have a Sri Lankan neighbour who (once she got to know my love for Sri Lankan food) is always sending over food. This ‘mallung’ or mallum recipe I learnt from her. It’s a quick and easy stir-fry recipe for greens, where you have to finely chop/shred the greens. Since green leafy vegetables tend to reduce in quantity when cooked-don’t be disappointed if you end up with very little mallung.
I try to experiment with different greens and try to buy radish/turnips/beetroot with the leaves. And yes-please don’t throw the leaves of these vegetables as they are edible. Add them to your dals or make this Sri Lankan ‘mallung’ recipe 🙂
Ingredients for Sri Lankan Mallung: Serves 4
- Green leafy veg: 1 big bunch (kale, turnip greens, moringa leaves, amaranth, lal saag)
- Red chili flakes: 1 tsp (or green chili paste)
- Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
- Mustard leaves: 1/2 tsp
- Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
- Curry leaves: 3-4 nos.
- Grated coconut: 1-2 tbsp (fresh or desiccated)
- Lemon juice: 2tsp
- Oil: 1 tsp
- Salt: to taste
- Wash the greens and chiffonade (roll the leaves and cut them finely) them.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, add the mustard and cumin seeds.
- When it starts to pop, add the curry leaves, turmeric powder and the red chili flakes (or green chili paste)
- Then add the greens and stir-fry for 5-6 mins.
- Add the salt and the grated coconut and mix well.
- Swith off and squeeze a dash of lime/lemon juice.
- Serve with rice and dal/sambar.
- Experiment with different greens. Cooking times will differ for different greens: like moringa(drumstick) leaves need more time to cook (and you may have to cover and cook for sometime).
- The red chili flakes add a unique taste to the dish, you can chop the dry red chilies and use that or use green chili paste.
- Always remember to squeeze some lemon/lime juice before you serve greens as the vitamin C will help in the absorption of the iron found in green leafy vegetables.
Sri Lankan Greens Mallung/Mallum Recipe