To make this dish Mary used a type of spinach called elaigova, which she picked fresh from her garden. The leaves were quite thick and looked like elephant ears. While I was in Sri Lanka, I ate so many extravagant dishes that I often craved something simple like this. Whenever I asked my hosts for paruppu (dhal) and pol roti with nothing else, they found it bizarre, as it’s considered ‘workers’ food’ and too simple a dish to be served on its own to a guest — but I loved it.
Wash the spinach, then cut the stems into 2 cm (¾ inch) pieces and tear the leaves into smaller pieces.
Drain the soaked dhal, then rinse and drain again. Put the dhal, 500 ml (
Heat the coconut oil in a large wok over medium heat, and add the spinach and salty water. Add the garlic paste, onion, chillies, rampe and curry leaves; cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Stir in the dhal and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the coconut cream and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring regularly so the coconut cream does not split. Taste and season with salt if needed. Serve with pol roti.
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