Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Poor, Misunderstood Cabbage

I really feel quite sorry for cabbage. We know how to drown it in mayonnaise or boil it to pieces, but rarely do we let this sorely misunderstood vegetable shine on its own. I propose a rediscovery of this vitamin and fiber rich (and cheap to boot!) vegetable. A quick stir-fry in a handful of spices gives cabbage the front and center attention it deserves. Plus it'll be ready to enjoy in less than ten minutes!

Chop up as much cabbage as you feel like eating. I usually do 1/2 a medium sized cabbage head for two hearty cabbage eaters (with a little leftover).

Melt 1 tbsp of butter over medium heat. If you want even more flavor use ghee (clarified butter). It will give a delicious nutty aroma and make your family come running into the kitchen to see what delicious things you are cooking. Or you can use vegetable oil if you, you know, want to be healthy or something.

Next, add 1/2 tbsp of cumin seeds. Now it has to be exact, or else, you know, your dish might have more or less cumin seeds. Okay really, just eyeball it. Be free! Let loose with the cumin! If you have black mustard seeds those are a delicious alternative to cumin seeds, a different but delicious flavor. Just be sure to stand back when you add the mustard seeds, they pop and splatter like nobody's business.

Watch them sizzle for a minute or two. Can you smell the buttery nutty goodness? If so, feel free to proceed to the next step.

Add a 1/2 tsp of turmeric. It gives a beautiful golden tint to the finished dish, not to mention its health properties (apparently it's anti-inflammatory have been shown to prevent everything from breast and prostate cancers to slowing the development of multiple sclerosis, who knew?). If you don't have any on hand, it's okay. I'll forgive you. Your recipe will still be delicious.

Add a handful of curry leaves (15-20) and let them cook for a minute. If you don't like the look of leaves in your dish, you can tear them up into smaller leaves. Me? I like leaves.

Hi, I'm curry leaves. Have we met? I make things taste delicious. You should seek me out at any asian or Indian grocer. I come fresh or dried. Either way, I'm delicious. If you buy a bunch of me fresh you can freeze me with great results. Lest you think I'm too expensive, the above package cost $0.98. If you haven't bought spices at a mom & pop Indian grocery before - do so now! Your pocketbook will thank you about a million times over. Plus they're always really fresh. Okay, where were we...?

Oh right, the main event: add cabbage. Stir fry until the cabbage is cooked, approximately 5 minutes. Add a generous sprinkling of salt (it will bring out the flavor of all the other spices).

It's finished. Doesn't it look delicious?

Now serve with something tasty, like the above chicken for example. I promise I'll get around to posting that recipe someday. But in the meantime....

Sit back and devour, or you know, watch your meat and potatoes loving significant other devour.

I'd say he looks full and happy, wouldn't you?


  1. Loving the site and your method for cabbage! I love, love, LOVE cabbage and I'm happy to see a new way to cook it. Oddly enough, I happen to have a pack of black mustard seeds in my kitchen... because I also collect spices. It's an addiction. Can't wait to see what else you come up with!

  2. This is my first visit to your site and it's wonderful (saw your link at 101Cookbooks). My mom used to make cabbage like this, though she would generally just use mustard seeds, turmeric, salt and black pepper but would also saute onions with the cabbage as well.

  3. Glad you both like the site! I'm still learning but I'm having lots of fun with it!

  4. I just discovered your blog. It looks wonderful so far. I will have to try this cabbage recipe as soon as possible. It sounds delicious!
    Keep up the good work!