{A Sri Lankan Recipe} Kale Mallung (aka Mallum)

a1 kale mallum (mallung)

Forget about other vegetables, I have been rotating between curly kale and cavolo nero. Deep down, I’m a leafy vegetable kind of girl.  I heard about all the good things about kale but for me, the succulent leaves do it for me.

I have tried cooking kale in various ways, salad, stir fry and even in soup. I reckon my next leap will be adding kale in my green smoothie which I’m excited at the thought of it. Until then, allow me to share with you this flavourful Sri Lankan styled green vegetable dish called Mallung (or Mallum).

Mallung means tempered vegetables (with mustard seeds, turmeric powder, curry leaves and fresh dessicated coconut). You can use this recipe for any leafy vegetables of your choice. I have tried the recipe with Chinese choy sum and bok choy. And boy, they worked! Since I’m in the kale phase, I have attempted the recipe with kale, naturally.

If you cannot get a hold of fresh coconut, try rehydating dried unsweetened dessicated coconut (which can be found in the baking section in the supermarket) with water and set aside for a couple of minutes.

a8 Kale Mallung (A Sri Lankan Recipe)

Kale Mallung (aka Mallum)

What you’ll need to serve 2 people with rice:-

  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tsps black mustard seeds
  • 1 medium sized brown onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 6 -8 curry leaves
  • 250g (9 ouces) cavolo nero (aka tuscan cabbage or black kale), trim off the tough stalks and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut
  • 3/4 cup water (1/4 cup to rehydrate the coconut & 1/2 cup for the cooking)
  • 1/2 long red chilli, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste

a11 kale mallum (mallung)


Rehydrate the dessicated coconut with water. Mix and set aside while prepping other ingredients i.e. slice the onions, cavolo nero and chop the red chilli. In a large pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil with onion and mustard seeds over medium flame. Saute until the mustard seeds start to pop. Turn the flame over to low and add turmeric powder and curry leaves. Saute until fragrant. Add cavolo nero with 1/2 cup of water. Mix to combine with the onion mixture and saute until soften. Stir in coconut and chilli and mix to combine. Season with salt and serve immediately with rice and sunny side up eggs. Enjoy! 😀

a4 kale mallum (mallung)

Kale, Meatless Recipes. permalink.

4 thoughts on “{A Sri Lankan Recipe} Kale Mallung (aka Mallum)

  1. I want this right now, do I have to wait for breakfast? I even have a coconut sitting on my counter, although it seems like such a pain to open it that I might try your rehydrating trick instead.

    • oh that’s so sweet of you, Emmy! You are lucky to have access to fresh coconut! 🙂 I am not game enough to attempt cracking a coconut yet even though I have seen my mum did it multiple times when I was a kid. I reckon the rehydrating version works well. Hope you will like the recipe.

  2. I made this tonight, more or less how you instructed (more turmeric–by mistake–less coconut, no chili because of allergy) and liked it a lot. Thank you! My cat Peachy, who loves raw kale above all other foods, thanks you too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *