Sothi is a typical Sri Lankan curry which my mother thought me last night. This is a simple oil-free vegan yellow coconut curry which resembles the Malay “Masak Lemak” dish. You could cook any vegetables using this recipe. In this we used regular green cabbage. Unfortunately I did not take down the Malay “Masak Lemak” recipes from Kakak Is. She prepared banana blossoms (jantung pisang) and yellow burr head (genjer) which is very delicious. I am guessing the Malay version has lemongrass, pandan and galangal but I can’t say for  sure. Both versions are very similar none the less.


  • 3 red chillies chopped
  • medium red onion chopped
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • ½ teaspoon of fenugreek
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 4 leaves of cabbage chopped
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric
  • 14oz can of coconut milk
  • 2 fresh tomatoes chopped
  • 1 fresh lime sliced in half
  • salt to taste


  1. Add chillies, onions, curry leaves, cabbage, fenugreek, garlic, cabbage and turmeric to pot and fill with enough water to cover vegetables. The amount of water depends on how you like it. I like a thick sauce and so I used less water which did not cover all the vegetables.
  2. Bring water to a gentle boil.
  3. Once the cabbage is half or more cooked add coconut milk
  4. Do not boil coconut milk as it will release the oils. Stir gently over a very gentle simmer.
  5. Once all vegetables are cooked add tomatoes, salt and squeeze lime to taste and remove from heat immediately as you do not want to cook the tomatoes nor overcook the vegetables.
  6. If the dish is too tangy, counteract with a bit of brown sugar.

Laks Indrakaran

Virginia Beach, US

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