Winter in England is cold, grey and snowy so we are dreaming of hot and sunny places, of tropical heat and exotic food – fragrant rice, spicy curries, pickles and chutneys, mangoes, papayas, coconuts, chillies, lemongrass, ginger … all sound exciting, warming and inviting. So we found ourselves in our local Sri Lankan Abina Supermarket on Hoe Street (opposite the Rose & Crown pub) buying ingredients we’d never seen before and dreaming of sunny beaches.
So we returned home determined to cook something exciting with the products we had bought – including these beautiful spring onion flowers. This is a quick, simple dish, inspired by Hugh FSW. You can use whatever seasonal greens are available – spring greens, brussels tops, leeks, kale, spinach or cabbage. If you can’t get hold of the Sri Lankan spring onions, standard spring onions would work and they’re often 3 bunches for £1 on the market.
2 – 3 bunches of Sri Lankan spring onion flowers or spring onions
2 tbsp of sunflower or rapeseed oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
200g greens, shredded
1 heaped tsp hot madras curry powder
1 tin of coconut milk
Trim the spring onions and cut into 5cm pieces. Wash thoroughly.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and fry for a minute. Add the onions and fry over a gentle heat for a few minutes before adding the shredded greens.
Continue cooking until soft but still with a bit of bite. Stir in the curry powder to taste, then add the coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with steamed rice as either a vegetarian main course or a vegetable side-dish.