A mallung (also spelled mallum) is a Sri Lankan dish made with some type of vegetable or leaf that’s cooked with freshly shredded coconut. They’re usually cooked for a fairly short period of time and are fairly quick dishes to put together.
A note on cabbage. If you’re not a fan – like me and Fahim – you might still like this dish. The use of the seasonings combined with the freshly shredded coconut transforms the cabbage from an ick vegetable to a Wow! What Is This? dish. Honestly.
- 250 grams cabbage, finely shredded
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 cup coconut, freshly shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 2 tablespoons onions, chopped
- 2 teaspoons red chilli pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon mustard, ground
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3-4 tablespoons water
- Put the onions, chillies, cabbage, curry leaves, salt, and water in a pot and cook until done, stirring occasionally.
- Mix together the coconut, mustard, pepper, and turmeric. Add to the cabbage mixture. Stir for a couple of minutes, then remove from heat.
I’ve used head cabbage and Chinese cabbage for this and both work fine. I tend to use it for head cabbage since it has a stronger, less pleasant taste for us when it’s on its own.
You might be able to buy freshly shredded coconut at Asian markets or from some Asian restaurants. Ask. They might also have freshly shredded coconut in the freezer section.
If you can’t get freshly shredded coconut, you can use dried unsweetened coconut, but rehydrate with hot coconut milk or cows milk first. It won’t taste as good as freshly shredded, though. Freshly shredded is just absolutely wonderful stuff.
If you can’t get curry leaves, omit. There is no substitute.