It's Meatless Monday and the day before St. Patrick's Day so I had to bring you something vegetarian friendly and green.
This green cabbage mellun brings back wonderful memories of my childhood. My mother has been making this vegetarian/vegan friendly curry for a long time and it's a family favorite when we eat a rice and curry meal.
The trick to making this curry is to get the outer green layers of the cabbage. The white cabbage will not give you the correct texture for the mellun. You will need a good knife to shred the mellun or a food processor with a shredding attachment can make quick work of it. My mother is "old-school" and she cut it all by hand. We ate the meal with a Basic Lentils curry, meat curry (coming to the blog soon) and a simple cucumber and onion salad. It was a perfect meal shared with my family.
Reader's Tip: What is a Mellun? Mellun, Mallung, Mellum (all spellings can work) is basically a vegetable dish that has been cooked/fried or steamed with fresh or dessicated coconut.
1lb green cabbage leaves (do not use white cabbage leaves)
1 medium onion sliced
1-2 tsp mustard seeds
1-2 tsp cumin seeds
1 small cinnamon stick
1/2 cup dessicated coconut (unsweetened)
10-12 curry leaves
1-2 small pandan leaves
4-5 dried red chilies broken into small pieces
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder (or to taste)
salt to taste
|Cutting core out of cabbage|
|My mother's steady hand cutting cabbage|
Once all the cabbage is shredded place in a pan with 2Tbs water and some salt. Then place a lid on pot to steam on low heat until cabbage is tender, but not over cooked. The cabbage should still have a little bite to it. Remember to stir cabbage so all the cabbage gets steamed evenly. Add a tablespoon of water (if needed) at a time until cabbage is steamed.
In a separate pan heat 2 Tbs canola oil and saute the curry leaves, pandan leaves, red chili pieces, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, onion and salt for 3-4 minutes until onions become softened.
Next add the dessicated coconut, turmeric and red chili powder to the steamed cabbage and mix well. Finally add add the coconut/cabbage mixture to the frying onion mixture. Toss well and mix all ingredients (tip: you can use the back of a wooden spoon to stir this easily). Taste for salt and seasoning. Serve with rice and curry meal. Enjoy.