Saturday, June 25, 2011

Spicy and Creamy Cabbage Stew

I prepared a Cabbage Stew this afternoon. Normally, I would use ginger root for this recipe. However, when I started cooking this afternoon, I noticed that I was out of ginger root. I would normally not be too lazy and ride to the Indian Supermarket nearby and get some, but I had just gone there, prior to preparing dinner this afternoon. I didn't feel like riding out again. So, I experimented with adding black peppercorns to my recipe to add some heat to the stew I was preparing. It turned out that my estimation of the amount of heat put out by fourth of a cup of peppercorns wasn't very accurate. When I tasted the prepared dish, it was extremely spicy. I had to tone it down a notch. I checked my pantry and the only available product that would come in handy was coconut milk. I added a can of coconut milk to the Cabbage Stew and made it "Spicy and Creamy Cabbage Stew". It worked out great!

Here is my improvised recipe :)

Cabbage- 1/2 head, shredded
Mustard seeds - 1 Tsp
Urad dal  - 1 Tsp
Shredded Coconut - 1/2 cup
Fenugreek seeds - 1 Tsp
Sesame seed oil - 2  Tbsp
Black peppercorns - 2 Tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 Tsp
Red chillies - 6-8
Dal/Lentils  - 2 cups (cooked)
Coconut Milk - 1 can
Asafoetida - a dash
Garnish: chopped curry leaves and cilantro

  1. In a sauce pan, heat-up the oil. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Turn down the heat to medium or below.
  2. Add the urad dal, asafoetida and the shredded cabbage. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Cook the lentils until soft in a pressure-cooker or in a conventional sauce pan.
  4. In a sauce pan, roast the black peppercorns, fenugreek, cumin, red chilies. You may use a drop or two of oil if you like to roast these. I dry toast them.
  5. Grind the the ingredients from step 4 and the grated coconut in a blender. Use little water (the mix should be moist/wet but not runny). 
  6. Add the mix from step 5 to the cabbage in the pot, turn-up the heat to medium and cook until the cabbage is cooked, but not mushy!
  7. Add salt to taste and garnish with cilantro and the chopped curry leaves.
    Bon appetit' :)

    PS. One can eat most of my vegetable stews/curries/chowders by themselves or with rice/chappathi/naan/pita bread!

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