Monday, June 13, 2011

Sri Lankan Cabbage Mellun

Coconut is also a very important ingredient in Sri Lankan cooking.   The country is blessed with coconut trees so the coconut is used in the form of coconut milk or directly into sambals, melluns as well sweet dishes.   This spicy cabbage mellun uses unsweetened dessicated coconut to flavor this dish.  

1lb of shredded cabbage.  *(see note)
1 medium onion chopped
2-3 green serrano chilies (seeded if you want to lower the spiciness)
10-12 curry leaves
1 small piece of cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp of chili flakes (or to taste)
1 tsp of red chili powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp of granulated garlic (or 2 garlic cloves grated)
1 tsp of rice wine vinegar * (see note)
1/2 cup of dessicated (unsweetened) coconut -available in Indian Grocers
salt to taste

Note:  I actually used a bag of coleslaw mix (available in most American Grocery Stores).  This coleslaw is already pre-shredded cabbage so it made quick work of making this cabbage mellun.  I does contain some grated carrot, but that just adds more flavor. : )

Note:  I used a tsp of rice wine vinegar at the end of cooking.  If you do not have rice wine vinegar which is slightly sweet flavored you can omit it or use some white vinegar with a little sugar to sweeten it.

In a large pan, heat 1Tbs of canola oil on medium-high heat.
Then add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves and cinnamon stick.  Fry for 30-45 seconds until the mustard seeds begin to splutter.  Careful not to burn.

Then add you cabbage, chilies and onions.  Saute for 2-3 minutes until the cabbage and onions begin to soften. 

If you are using fresh garlic, add it here.  

Add your granulated garlic, chili powder, turmeric, dessicated coconut and some salt to taste here.  Fry for another 3-5 minutes.

Finally add the 1 tsp of rice wine vinegar and stir well.  Taste for seasoning and Serve.

Serves 4-6 people as part of a rice and curry meal.  Enjoy

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