Pea Tendrils with Coconut


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Pea Tendrils with Coconut

4 servings
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Ingredients (6)

  • 1/2 pound pea tendrils (about 8 cups chopped, loosely packed)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen grated coconut
  • 2 green cayenne chiles, finely chopped
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric


This is a mallum (sometimes transcribed mallung), a traditional dish from Sri Lanka that is often made with wild greens. The variety of greens used to make mallums in Sri Lanka is staggering, a testimony to the tropical lushness of the island.

This recipe, using fresh pea tendrils, or pea shoots, is a favorite. Notice that everything is simply put into a pot and cooked together. There’s no oil for frying, no water for boiling other than the water clinging to the washed greens.
Just follow the recipe and see what happens.


  1. 1Wash the pea tendrils and drain. Gather them into a tight bundle and finely slice crosswise.
  2. 2Combine with all the other ingredients in a medium heavy pot and mix well.
  3. 3Place over high heat and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute. Then cover tightly and cook for about 3 minutes, until the pea tendrils have wilted and the shallots are tender. Serve on a flat plate.

Note: This makes an easy and welcome green vegetable side with a meal of roast or grilled chicken, curry, and rice.

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