When we were young, most of us who liked to go abroad for holidays we would usually head to neighbouring Sri Lanka or India. For my family its usually Sri Lanka as both my parents had done their schooling in Sri lanka and loved the food there.
My first trip was in 1986, my parents, my two elder sisters and myself and an uncle of ours. Instead of staying in a hotel we stayed in a Sri lankan lady's house, who rented rooms and served meals. It was a big house with a huge garden and one of our favorite things was climbing this huge temple flower tree , me always at the bottom with the rest climbing further up. There were two dishes that this lady served that had been stamped in my mind, one was this vegetarian sambal known as a mallun, and pineapple curry.
I found the recipe for mallun in a sri lankan recipe book which featured various ways to make mallun. I decided to make my own by using kangkun or water spinach. You can use either spinach or a white cabbage.Its a lovely accompaniment with rice and curries.
The dried tuna used in the recipe is a Maldivian product which is loved by Sri lankans and used widely in their cooking, although its known as Maldive fish for them.
|dried tuna chips|
You will need :
2 nice big bunches of kang kung or fresh spinach.
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
2 red or green chillies, sliced
1 medium size onion, finely sliced
6 curry leaves
1-2 tbsps of pound up dried tuna chips ( optional )
about 1/2 tsp tumeric
Juice of 1 lime or 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1. Wash the kangkung leaves, finely shred the leaves, use the tender stems too. Place in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the rest of the ingrediants except the mustard seeds. Season with salt and mix well after squeezing in the lime or lemon juice.
3. Heat a non stick wok with a tiny bit oil, just a few drops, and add the mustard seeds. Once they start to pop add the kangkung mixture and stir well till the leaves become a dark green and the coconut gives a roasted smell. Switch off and serve.