Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sri Lankan Kale Mellun - Vegan


Welcome to Day 4 of Kale week.  Now this Kale dish is truly a powerhouse. In Sri Lanka we eat is as one of many dishes served in a rice and curry meal.  It goes wonderfully with lentil dishes, meat dishes and other veggie dishes.

My family (including my kids) loves this dish.  My kids call  it "dinosaur" leaves because anything a dinosaur ate must be cool in their minds.   The funny thing is there really is a Kale variety called Dinosaur Kale.  So, maybe they aren't so far off in their thinking. :)

1lb Shredded kale
2 Tbs finely chopped onion
1/4 tsp turmeric
2-3 Tbs dessicated (unsweetened) coconut
salt to taste
water (as needed to steam)

TIP:  Kale freezing beautifully.  You can prep this the kale by washing, drying and shredding it.  Then pop the portions you desire into freezer safe bags.  When needed, defrost or thaw a bag and cook with the coconut and other ingredients.

To start, wash the kale leaves with cold water.  Trim off the woody stems because they will be too tough for the dish.  The inner stems are fine.

Allow leaves to sin in colander to remove excess water.

The time consuming part of this dish is the cutting process.  Well, if you have a food processor it will be quick and easy.  I just gave my whole kale leaves a chop or two and put them into the food processor.  I pulsed it until the kale was a fine shred.

Tip:  Do your kale in batches and do not over-crowd the food processor.

In a large pan add some diced onion on medium heat.
Then add your shredded kale to the pan.

Add turmeric (another nutrient powerhouse), dessicated coconut and salt to taste.

Do not use the sweetened coconut for baking and desserts.  Dessicated coconut is available at Asian grocery stores.

Mix all the ingredients together and cook on medium heat.  Sprinkle a tsp of water to start the steaming process.  If you feel like you need more water, add a teaspoon at a time.  This is a dry dish, so you don't want any excess liquid.  You want just enough water to steam the dish until the kale is cooked through and the onions are tender.  It took about 15 minutes.  Stir frequently and make sure you don't burn the kale.

This will serve 6-8 people as part of a meal.  This is not a dish you will eat on it's own.  You definitely want to pair Kale Mellun with rice, lentils and other vegetable or meat curries.  Enjoy the dish and enjoy the health benefits.

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