Easy Sri Lankan Kale and Coconut


Memphis and I love creating meals with whole foods. Because we’re anti-diet culture, we use fresh virgin oils and raw nuts and seeds. However, we discovered this delicious oil-free, dry stew on Fat-Free Vegan (see link at the bottom of post.) This rich flavors and textures are a tasty way to eat more greens. We’ve modified it slightly adding coconut oil, but feel free to use extra virgin olive oil or toasted sesame oil for flavor variations.

Coconut and kale pair wonderfully are delicious together and the lime juice and cumin accent perfectly. Bits of brightly colored onion against the bright green make this visually appealing. Remove stems from the kale and reserve them for another use. I recommend slicing the kale and onions and preparing the chilis before heating the skillet. Gather all of your ingredients to have on hand. This recipe comes together fairly fast.

Memphis and I use this dish as a side or make it the main meal by serving it over grains or pasta. Memphis likes it as a topper with lentils or dal (lentil soup) for a quick, nutrient dense, one-bowl meal.


  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1-2 Hot chili peppers, seeded and chopped (use mild chiles for less heat)
  • 1 bunch (10-14 oz) kale leaves thinly sliced
  • ½ cup shredded coconut, fresh or frozen
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1-2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4-1/2  teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • Twist of ground black pepper




  1. Heat large, deep non-stick skillet. Add the onions and chiles. Cook stirring often until onions soften and turn pink.
  2. Add the kale, along with cumin and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring every minute or so until kale is wilted but still bright green, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add the coconut and 1 tbsp of lime juice. Leave on the heat just enough to heat through. Check the seasoning and add more lime juice if needed.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or cold.

Serves well over rice, rice sticks or lentils. It is also a delicious cold salad.

See more from Fat-Free Vegan here.

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