O Tama carey's cabbage mallung

"Most meals in Sri Lanka are made up of an array of dishes and more often than not feature a mallung," says Carey. "Mallung is a shredded vegetable dish that's lightly cooked, generally without fat of any kind, with fresh coconut and any array of spices and chilli, almost like a warm salad. There is a huge range of bitter, medicinal and wild greens that you can use. This recipe is a very simple cabbage version with butter and only very gently spiced."

Pictured with O Tama Carey's rhubarb achcharu. 

You'll need

30 gm butter 3 tsp brown mustard seeds 300 gm (¼ small) white or Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced 75 gm (1 cup) freshly grated coconut (see note) 1 tsp ground turmeric Lime or lemon juice, to serve


  • 01
  • Heat a wide frying pan over high heat. Throw in the butter and mustard seeds and stir until seeds start to pop (1-1½ minutes). Add cabbage and coconut and stir well. Season heavily, making sure to use a good amount of pepper. After a few minutes, add turmeric and keep stirring. Check for seasoning and cook for another minute or so until the cabbage is nicely wilted, but still has a little crunch (6-8 minutes). Add juice to taste, stir to combine and serve.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Additional Notes

Happily, you should be able to find frozen fresh grated coconut in Asian grocers if you don’t want to grate your own. Failing that, substitute desiccated coconut, but you’ll need to add a splash or two of water as you cook.

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