The heady, aromatic flavours of Sri Lanka are celebrated in Sydney chef and restaurateur O Tama Carey's Lanka Food: Serendipity & Spice. Here we dip into this flavoursome world.
Of this cabbage dish, Carey says: "This is one of the simplest dishes on the menu at [my Sydney restaurant] Lankan Filling Station and a surprising favourite with our customers, many of whom don't usually like cabbage.
"I have a special fondness for this vegetable, and this is a great way to use it. The ingredients are traditional but the way it's cooked is not; the ghee and wok cooking give it a richness and smokiness you wouldn't find in a more conventional mallung."
|14g||black mustard seeds|
|300g||white cabbage, finely sliced|
|To taste||salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper|
|50g||grated fresh coconut|
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
- Melt the ghee in a wok or wide-based frying pan over a high heat, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and cook for a minute or so until the seeds start to pop and the leaves are fried.
- Add the cabbage, season generously with salt and pepper and give everything a good mix. Cook, stirring, for 1–2 minutes, then add the turmeric and cook for another minute. While you need to keep the cabbage moving in the high heat of the wok, allow for some moments of stillness to encourage a little char.
- Add the coconut and taste again for seasoning, then cook for another 2–3 minutes until the cabbage has wilted but still has a little crunch. This dish will be dry, the flavour a little buttery with hints of smoky char, rounded out by the soft sweetness of the coconut. Serve hot or at room temperature.
- You can substitute desiccated coconut for freshly grated, but you'll need to add a splash of water when cooking.
Edited extract from Lanka Food: Serendipity & Spice by O Tama Carey, published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $60 NZD, available in-stores nationally.
- Serves: 4