Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cabbages for my prince (and princess)

Was chopping into a cabbage last night, en route to whipping up a simple sauteed veggie dish to go with the rotis and fish and realized that it's so simple to go right with vegetables. Yes, go right. Don't get me wrong. I lived in England for more than 3 years, so know how easy it seems to be to go very wrong with veggies. (Ugh, those slops of boiled cabbage they served! Drove me to cooking, they did!)

I can't remember a single meal where we didn't have a vegetable side dish - my mom's beans are to die for! The distinction in Indian cooking is the flavor infused in the oil, and the simple additive that enhances the dish.

I washed the cabbage ahead of time, since you don't want any splattering oil. Also, you do not wash leafy veggies after cutting them, since that leaches away a good bit of their nutrients. Then you set about with the 5 minutes of cooking that gives you a lovely, nutritious side-dish.

Ingredients include: half a cabbage, oil (I prefer olive oil), salt, turmeric, mustard seeds and unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
  • Slice half a medium-sized cabbage into long thin strips
  • In a medium non-stick pot, start heating a table-spoon of oil. Test the oil with one mustard seed, if it pops, toss in 2 pinches of them (around 10 to 15 seeds)
  • Once they pop, mix in the cauliflower. Stir well, to make sure all of the cabbage gets a thin coating of the oil. Pop in a half tea spoon of salt, and a quarter tea spoon of turmeric
  • Sir in very little water (maybe 2 table spoons at the most.) The cabbage has enough moisture within it to cook well
  • With about 8 minutes on a medium flame, you've got a tasty veggie dish
  • A nice additive is a quarter cup of coconut flakes. Make sure the flakes you have are not sweetened. Sometimes, it's worth soaking about a quarter cup in a little water and squeezing out the "first milk" from the coconut. That way, you don't land up with sweet cabbage. Just toss it into the cooked cabbage and mix it in for an added twist. If you're watching your cholestrol, skip this step!
  • You can use the coconut milk for other dishes such as a curry or even to flavor your rice as it boils

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did you know that in China (especially Hong Kong), they have all these ornamental cabbages -- e.g., in jade -- because the word cabbage evidently sounds so much like the word for prosperity? Thought a little cabbage trivia was the only fair exchange I could offer for cabbage recipes.

Niko