Apr 9, 2018

Indian-Style Yellow Cabbage

cabbage, easy, garlic, Indian, mustard, Recipe, simple, stir fry, turmeric, vegan, vegetarian, yellow,

This simple cabbage stir-fry uses zesty mustard seeds, earthy turmeric, garlic, and a pinch of red chili to create a flavorful side dish that can quickly be made for a gathering. An easy to make vegan recipe that pairs well with rice and rotis.

cabbage, easy, garlic, Indian, mustard, Recipe, simple, stir fry, turmeric, vegan, vegetarian, yellow,

This recipe is adapted from 5 Spices, 50 dishes by Ruta Kahate. The premise of her cookbook is simple: with five common spices and a few basic ingredients, home cooks can create fifty mouthwatering Indian dishes, as diverse as they are delicious. Ms. Kahate teaches regional Indian cooking from her home-based school in Oakland, California, which has been featured on the Fine Living Network. I bought this book when it first came out in 2007. It is very well written and beautifully photographed. About half the recipes are authentically Indian while the other half are interesting modern fusions with western cuisine. My only complaint is that the recipes are a bit bland for my family's tastes- this is usually easily remedied by simply doubling the spices.

cabbage, easy, garlic, Indian, mustard, Recipe, simple, stir fry, turmeric, vegan, vegetarian, yellow,

Cabbage was never a favorite vegetable of mine until I moved to South Asia. I never cared for the western methods of preparing cabbage whether raw and shredded as in coleslaw, braised, or even pickled as in sauerkraut. Asian cuisines do cabbage best with simple stir-fries or salads dressed lightly with pungent oil and vinegar or lime juice dressings. This recipe is exemplary of how simple yet flavorsome a cabbage dish can be. (It's also quite pretty in it's glossy and golden yellow presentation.) I have altered the spices in the recipe to suit my family's tastes and to accommodate a slightly larger amount cabbage than entailed in the original recipe. I've used Kashmiri mirch instead of the recommended cayenne. Kashmiri mirch gives more of a rich chili flavor than cayenne and boosts the brilliant yellow coloring of the turmeric in this dish. Most cabbage dishes in Nepal or India are served a little crunchy or al dente, we prefer ours a bit well done. I also prefer frying the cabbage the Kashmiri way in salted oil. Frying in salted oil results in those little carmelized bits of loveliness that add so much flavor. Don't be too skimpy with the oil in this recipe as that's what is carrying the flavor. If you are using a non-stick pan you could probably get away with 3 tablespoons full of your favorite cooking oil, if not then I'd advise sticking to the full quarter cup. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Ingredients:
3 to 4 TBS cooking oil of choice
1&1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds/rai
4 cloves garlic/lahsun, minced finely
1&1/2 tsp ground turmeric/haldi
1 small to medium head of cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
salt to taste
1/2 to 1 tsp Kashmiri mirch or  cayenne pepper/degi mirch (use less for less heat)

Here's what to do:
1) In a large lidded skillet or kadhai, heat the oil with 1 teaspoon of salt over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add mustard seeds and reduce heat to medium. Add the minced garlic and allow to just brown a little bit.

2) Add the sliced cabbage, turmeric, and chili powder and give the mixture a good stir to coat the cabbage with the oil and spices.

3) Cover and cook until the cabbage is cooked to desired tenderness. (We like our cabbage VERY tender which takes about 10 to 12 minutes.) Stir every three minutes or so. If mixture begins to scorch or stick add a tablespoonful of water, reduce heat and stir. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Serve hot or warm with rice and/or rotis.

Helpful hints:
Try to choose a smaller head of cabbage for this dish, they are more tender and have a milder flavor than the larger heads.

Do not use purple cabbage for this dish unless you don't mind the sickly blue-green shade it will turn when you fry it with the turmeric

15 comments:

  1. I love cabbage and often make stir fry cabbage with peas, it is also a favourite dish of the kids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Aman,
      O! Yes! I make a cabbage stir-fry with peas too- I have to get that recipe up. Such a great winter dish & the peas add a little extra protein.

      Delete
  2. do love cabbage! even in the heavy cooked eastern european way ;-D
    but your recipe sounds perfect for the spring - much lighter and the color is glorious! thanks!!
    xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi beate,
      Thank you! it is yummy & sooo easy to make.
      xox

      Delete
  3. That looks tasty, though I'd worry it was too oily for me. I might be tempted to leave out lots of the oil and add a bit of water.

    My favourite way of doing cabbage is to fry off some bacon (you could use halal turkey bacon), then add the cabbage and a couple of tablespoons of water, slap the lid on and leave it to steam till it's just cooked. Works for brussels sprouts too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mim,
      If you use a nonstick pan and add a tablespoonful of water if the cabbage sticks you could certainly get away with less oil.
      My favorite way to cook kale & chard is exactly what you describe with turkey bacon - unfortunately it is too bland for my Indian family though ;)

      Delete
  4. I adore cabbage-boiled, stir fried, raw-doesn't matter. This sounds delicious. 1/4 cup of oil doesn't sound too terrible for the amount of cabbage, particularly if the oil is good quality.

    My quick cabbage recipe is shredded and quickly sauteed in butter with salt and caraway seeds with a splash of white wine to finish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Goody,
      Thank you! Really it isn't a lot of oil for an entire head of cabbage. You'd use as much mayo for coleslaw. I use rice bran oil & it isn't heavy at all.
      Your recipe sounds yummy too!

      Delete
  5. Looks fantastic and tasty. I am personally not very fond of cabbage. I am more of a cauliflower person. Cabbage is fantastic in salad or chowmin. In the cooked form it has often caused flatulance to me.

    Apple

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Apple,
      Why thank you Apple for sharing that useful information about your bowel sensitivities publicly on my bog!
      ;)

      Delete
  6. I hated cooked cabbage until I ate a similar dish in South India a few years ago. I've never made it at home, maybe now I should! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Vix,
      Give this a try! I bet you'll like it!
      xox

      Delete
  7. Hmm, shall adapt this to my version of "cabbage steaks". I'm trying to eat less red meat but a no-meat meal still seems sadly lacking in satisfaction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Beth,
      I just looked up cabbage steaks to see how they are prepared. If you substituted garam masala for the black pepper used in those recipes you'd probably have an Indianized version that would be very tasty!

      Delete
  8. Blogging is the new poetry. I find it wonderful and amazing in many ways.

    ReplyDelete

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