Sri Lankan Stir Fried Cabbage | Gowa Mallum

There is little food waste in the homes of ordinary people in India and Sir Lanka – even the most ordinary ingredient can be turned easily into something extraordinary. Cabbage, for example, is not one of Winter’s favourite vegetables, but when fried with a few spices it is transformed into something to die for.  Check out our Cabbage Thoran and this one too.

This Sri Lankan dish is very similar to a Thoran or Poriyal, with Pandanus added. It is such a common dish (and so easy to prepare) and not surprisingly there are hundreds of variations of the dish – every family will have their own way of making it. Flavoured with onion, mustard seed, fenugreek, chillies, pandan and coconut oil, it is a very easy and tasty dish.

This recipe was given to us – we are always being sent recipes and our friends and family give us ones that they want us to make. We often don’t have the source, so if you know, fill us in so we can include the details.

Similar recipes include Cabbage Kothsu, Carrot Poriyal, and Sweetcorn and Spinach Stir Fry.

Browse all of our Cabbage dishes, our Thorans and all of our Sri Lankan recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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Eggplant and Capsicum Pahi | Sri Lankan Eggplant Pickle

This Sri Lankan dish makes a great condiment used with rice, roasted vegetables or even sauteed tofu. It is traditionally cooked in a clay pot over an open flame and is a great accompaniment to other Sri Lankan and Indian dishes. But it is also really delicious on its own with steamed rice, appa (rice hoppers), or roti or paratha. It can be served warm, but is even better the next day at room temperature. It will keep in the fridge for two weeks in a sealed container.

Eggplant Pahi is both sour, sweet and spicy, and in Sinhalese it is called Wambatu Moju or Brinjal Moju. It is like a cross between a pickle and a relish and is one of Sri Lanka’s most famous dishes. The beautiful balance of sweet and sour especially makes this dish a favourite festive dish. There are many different recipes for it.

In Plenty More, Ottolenghi ventures into the world of Sri Lankan cooking with a recipe for this same sweet-sour curry that is traditionally thought of as more of a Sri Lankan style pickle. He does not elaborate on the roots of this dish which is disappointing as it is such a classic Sri Lankan dish. I used the recipe as inspiration but have altered the recipe significantly.

Some recipes, like the one that Ottolenghi uses, call for deep frying the eggplant. I admit, this is really tasty. But other recipes saute or steam the eggplant and saute the capsicum (if using) and onion. I use the latter approach in this recipe to avoid too much fried food.

I have made a couple of other adjustments. Ottolenghi has a habit of specifying curry powder – it is not nearly as precise enough, given the wide range of different curry powders that vary significantly in taste and heat levels. I have specified a Sri Lankan curry powder (unroasted)- it is very easy to make or can be purchased. Also I have added a little tamarind to supplement the tartness.

With all of the changes it is hardly his recipe any more. If you prefer his original recipes you can find them in his books or his Guardian column.

Similar dishes include Capsicums cooked in Tomato and Garlic, Pineapple and Coconut Curry, Pumpkin and Roasted Coconut Curry, and Snake Bean Curry.

Browse all of our Sri Lankan dishes and our Eggplant recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here.  Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here, and we have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Summer recipes.

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Matki and Golu Kola Salad with Coconut | Moth Bean and Pennywort Salad

Golu Kola aka Pennywort is a bit of a super food with amazing properties. Occasionally I can find it at the local Asia grocery – a joy because it is used across Sri Lanka and India. In Sri Lanka a sambal is made, but today I took that a step further and made a salad with a base of Moth Beans (Matki, also called Vallarai).

It is very easy to make and matki takes under 30 mins to cook, so you can make it in the morning while you are pottering around getting ready for work, and then it is ready to have with dinner when you get home.

Other common recipes using gotu kola include a healthy infusion of the leaves, Gotukola Kenda – a soupy rice dish, a pachadi, poriyal, and Vallarai Keerai Kootu.

Similar recipes include Radish and Cucumber Kachumber, Dal with Moth Beans, and Sprouts Usal.

Browse all of our Matki recipes and all of our Indian Salads. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Mint Sambol

Mint Sambol is a Sri Lankan recipe akin to Pachadis or Thogayals of South India. It takes mint leaves, onion, garlic and chilli and grinds them with sultanas and coconut for sweetness, and lime juice for tang. It is a great accompaniment to rice or any Indian or Sri Lankan spicy dish.

I have blended this to a smooth paste, but you can also grind it to a more chunky mixture. That is also very nice.

Similar recipes include Spinach Thogayal, Carrot Sambol, and Andhra Spinach Pachadi.

Browse all of our Sambol recipes and all of our Sri Lankan dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Sri Lankan Pineapple and Coconut Curry

As mentioned in previous posts, in India and Sri Lanka tropical fruits such as pineapple are often eaten sprinkled with chilli powder or black pepper (or maybe chaat masala) and salt. Lime juice or amchur can be added. Its delicious, easy, and a great outdoors snack.

But in South India and Sri Lanka, pineapple is also used in curries, often with coconut milk. This is a typical Sri Lankan Pineapple Curry with coconut milk, pandanus and Badapu Thuna Paha to flavour the dish. You can make your own Badapu Thuna Paha  (roasted Curry Powder), or purchase from a Sri Lankan or South Indian grocery. Or substitute any roasted curry powder.

Similar dishes include Pineapple Pulissery, Green Mango in Coconut Milk, Sri Lankan Okra Curry with Coconut Milk, and Aubergines in Coconut Milk.

Or browse our Pineapple recipes and all of our Sri Lankan dishes. Our Indian recipes are here, and Indian Essentials here. Otherwise, explore our Late Summer collection of recipes

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Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry with Roasted Coconut

Sri Lanka cuisine includes beautiful curries cooked in coconut milk, showing off the abundance of coconuts on this beautiful isle. This is another version of the Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry, and in this one the flavours of coconut are layered with both roasted coconut and coconut milk. The recipe is adapted from Flavours of Sri Lanka.

Similar recipes include Sri Lankan Pineapple Curry, Green Mango in Coconut Milk, Sri Lankan Okra Curry with Coconut Milk, and Aubergines in Coconut Milk.

Or browse our Pumpkin recipes and all of our Sri Lankan dishes. Our Indian recipes are here, and Indian Essentials here. Otherwise, explore our Late Winter collection of recipes.

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Sri Lankan Pumpkin and Coconut Curry

This is a thick, creamy curry from Sri Lanka made from beautiful pumpkin cooked in coconut milk. It is tempered with spices and onions, adding an amazing aromatic and flavoursome note to the creamy curry.

The coconut milk base of the curry is flavoured with the Asian tropical flavours of pandan, chilli, curry leaves, Asian shallots and kaffir lime leaves. The Sri Lankan curry powder, Badapu Thuna Paha, is used too, but use a roasted curry powder if you don’t have this or don’t have time to make it. Simply roast your curry powder in a dry pan until it is aromatic and a darker colour but not burnt.

Flavours are layered so well in this curry, with unroasted chilli powder layered with the roasted Sri Lankan curry powder. (BTW, if you don’t have unroasted chilli powder, grind some Indian dried red chillies, or just use the chilli powder that you have.)

Similar recipes include Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry with Roasted Coconut, Green Mango in Coconut Milk, Sri Lankan Okra Curry with Coconut Milk, and Aubergines in Coconut Milk.

Or browse our Pumpkin recipes and all of our Sri Lankan dishes. Our Indian recipes are here, and Indian Essentials here. Otherwise, explore our Late Winter collection of recipes.

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Sri Lankan Mustard Greens with Coconut (Suitable for Any Greens)

Winter is the time for Mustard Greens, and we love them. This recipe, with its origins in Sri Lanka and the South of India, treats them very simply without a lot of spice, and ensures that the flavours of the Mustard Leaves shine through. In fact, any greens can be used in this recipe – spinach, kale, chards and any local greens that might be in your area. Try it with cabbage too, its delicious.

Similar recipes include Whole Mung Dal with Greens, Sri Lankan Pumpkin and Coconut CurrySarson ka Saag, Chilli Leaves with Peas, Mustard Greens with Mooli (Daikon), and Turnips with Mustard Greens in a Creamy Sauce.

Browse all of our Mustard Greens dishes, and all of our Sri Lankan recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Sri Lankan Okra Curry with Coconut Milk

Okra features strongly in Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines. In Sri Lanka both the Singalese and Tamil communities have similar okra curries that feature coconut milk.

This one uses the common Singalese Sri Lankan Curry Powder called Badupu Thuna Paha – a simple roasted mix of somewhere between 3 and 8 spices depending on your household. It’s a great idea to make it yourself, but if you prefer, you can replace the Badupu Thuna Paha with any other roasted curry powder.

Are you looking for other Okra recipes? Try Vendakka Khichadi, Pickled Okra, Okra with Sambar, and Avial.

Perhaps you are browsing Sri Lankan dishes. Try Sri Lankan Pineapple Curry, Mung Dal with Coconut Milk, Thattai Vadai, and Carrot Sambol.

Or browse all of our Okra dishes, all of our Sri Lankan dishes, and all of our Indian dishes. I know you will love them. Or simply take some time to browse our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Sri Lankan Chai

Tea is a big thing in Sri Lanka and is one of its main export crops. Drinking tea is a national pastime and it is served at any time of the day. Unlike South India, where tea is always milky, tea in Sri Lanka is either black or white, and sweetened with sugar or jaggery, and spices such as cinnamon or ginger can be added

Visitors are always served tea – perhaps this chai with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Rather than make it with milk in the South Indian way, this tea is made black and then evaporated milk is added to both sweeten and add a milky flavour. Who can resist?

We love chai here, and have quite a number of different recipes. Try our Yogi ChaiLiquorice Ginger Chai, Heavenly Gentle Chai, and Ashram Chai. Or browse all of our Chai recipes here.

We also love herbal teas, and you can explore our Tea recipes here.

Browse all of our Sri Lankan recipes, or our Indian dishes. Or simply take some time to browse our Mid Summer recipes.

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