Monday, July 11, 2011

Sri Lankan Broccoli Mellun

I think this is my new favorite side dish to eat with rice and curry.  My mother came up with this little gem and when I tasted it for the first time I knew I had to share it with everyone.  The flavor of the dish is not the only thing I love about this dish, it's also the texture.  I love that the broccoli is shredded so it's easy to eat.  This vegetarian/vegan side dish is a great way to increase your intake of broccoli (even if you're not a broccoli fan).

1 to 1 and 1/2 pounds of washed broccoli (see note)
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 cup dessicated unsweetened coconut (available at Indian Grocers)
1/2 tsp of turmeric
1/2 tsp of red chili powder (or to taste)
1 inch stick of cinnamon
10-12 curry leaves
1tsp of mustard seed
1tsp of cumin seed
salt (to taste)

Note:  You can use the entire broccoli in this recipe (stalk too).  I suggest you cut the crowns off the stalks and shred the stalks in the food processor first since you want them to be a bit finer.  Shred the crowns lightly by pulsing the processor only a few times because you don't want them to be too fine.

In a large pan heat 1Tbs of olive oil on medium-high heat.  Once heated, add your cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cinnamon and curry leaves. Allow to fry for 30-45 seconds until the seeds splutter in the oil, but do not burn.  Next add your onions and green chilies and saute for 3-5 minutes.
Now add your shredded broccoli to the pan.  Saute for 2-3 minutes. 
Next add your turmeric, dry chilies, salt and dessicated coconut. Fry for 5 more minutes.  If you washed your broccoli before you shredded it, the broccoli will have some water still on it so it will cook as well as steam in the pan.  No extra water is needed.

Cook until the broccoli is cooked down to your desired texture.  Taste for seasoning and serve.  Serves 4-6 people as part of a rice and curry meal.  This dish goes perfectly with any lentil dish.  Enjoy.

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