The Germans ferment cabbage to make sauerkraut and the Koreans ferment it to make Kimchi. Both these dishes are delicacies in their own right. But as a South Indian, who grew up on stir fried cabbage, my allegiance is still with the non-fussy uncomplicated stir fry my mother and grand mother used to make. But before launching off into the yummy-ness of this crunchy vegetable, let’s quickly look at its nutritional value.
A nutrient powerhouse and one of the best cancer fighters there is, cabbage also has another endearing quality – it’s extremely low calorie, making it an ideal diet food. For detailed information on the health benefits of cabbage, visit this whfoods webpage.
Little wonder then that this inexpensive but valuable vegetable has found its way into traditional diets across the world – East European, Chinese, Korean, Ethiopian and Indian…to name a few.
I grew up in a South Indian household where Cabbage stir fries were very common. Cabbage, shredded, was stir fried along with peas and / or chopped beans and carrots, or potatoes.
Today, I share a recipe slightly tweaked to reflect the eclectic palate / sensibility I have developed as an Indian immigrant in North America.
Cabbage – Green Onion Stir Fry South Indian Style:
You will need:
Half a medium-sized cabbage, shredded thin
Four green onions, chopped
Four tablespoons of canola oil
One tablespoon of cumin seeds
Three-fourth tablespoon of black mustard seeds (optional)
One generous tablespoon of yellow split peas
Four green / red Thai chilies / Serrano, chopped
Six – seven curry leaves (optional)
Salt to taste
Red chili powder to tase
A handful of coriander leaves / cilantro, chopped.
Heat the oil in a skillet. Over a medium flame, add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and split peas to the oil, stir occasionally till the peas brown and an aroma develops. Then, add in the chilies, curry leaves and chopped green onions. Once they cook, add in the shredded cabbage. Add a little salt, mix and let the ingredients cook. Stir occasionally. Let the cabbage cook till it looses it rawness; it does not have to lose its crunch or colour.
Taste and adjust the salt and add in the chili powder as per the spiciness you desire. Once the desired taste is reached, garish with chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) and serve warm with rice or Indian breads such as roti.