Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cabbage with Curry Leaves and Mustard Seeds

I know I said I would tell you about my trip to Bloomington and I swear, I have a post partially written. But (you knew there was going to be a but, didn't you), I have been too busy with school (yeah, that lame old excuse again) to finish writing it, so I am going to treat you to a recipe instead. I got this off the BBC food website, the recipe is by their chef Roopa Gulati, and it makes a nice slightly pungent (thanks to the mustard) side dish for an Indian feast. Serve with rice and dal and maybe some yogurt on the side.

Cabbage with Curry Leaves and Mustard Seeds
Courtesy of Roopa Gulati of the BBC. Makes about 4 cups, roughly 40 calories per cup if you use my quantity of oil, 95 calories per cup if you use the original 2 tablespoons. I also increased the amount of mustard seeds and chili powder in this recipe, as it seemed a bit bland at first taste. Feel free to reduce the heat if you desire.

1/2 medium-small cabbage, finely shredded (9-10 ounces)
2 small or 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp or 1/2 tsp oil (see comments above)
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds
12 curry leaves (these are the leaves of a specific tree used to flavour curries and other dishes, and can be found in Indian markets and some ethnic groceries. If you can't find them in your area you can proceed without them, the dish wont be the same thing, but it will still be tasty)
1 dried red chili
3/4" piece of fresh ginger, minced
3/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
1 medium tomato, blanched in hot water, seeds removed and diced (I just cut it up and tossed it in and it still tasted good)


1. Heat oil over high heat in a large frying pan (preferably non-stick). Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and dried chili (broken into pieces). Cover the pan as the mustard seeds will start exploding and popping and jumping all over the place once they hit the hot metal. Shake the pan to move the spices around and then lower the heat to medium.
2. Uncover the pan and add the onions and ginger. Cook until the onions begin to soften. If using the smaller quantity of oil, add a little water if needed to prevent sticking.
3. Add the turmeric and chili powder, the cabbage and salt.
4. Cook until the cabbage still has a little bite to it but is mostly tender. Or you may cook it until it is soft, if that is what you prefer. Keep stirring regularly to prevent sticking and add a little water if necessary.
5. Add the tomato and cook for a couple minutes longer.
6. Serve as a side dish with rice and dal or just dump it on top of some brown rice, add some cooked tofu or tempeh, and call it a meal.

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