July 20, 2007
Armed with a oversized brolley coordinated with my monochrome outfit, I braved a 15-minute walk in the midst of a thunderstorm to locate my nearest sushi takeout.
It was worth it.
I don’t normally feel the same love for cabbage. But my mother, armed with a certain diligence and innate ability, always manages to purchase the nation’s least favourite vegetables for our weekday meals.
As we cooked a simple and delicious prawn and cabbage stir fry, known by Bengalis as bandha kopir thorkari, I thought about how under appreciated cabbage really is. Koreans love kim chi and Germans their version. Surely, Indian style cabbage is what will eventually win hearts and minds?
It sure got my vote. The dish was moist, subtle and absolutely delicious. We ate some for dinner and the rest straight out of the fridge the next day. Pair it with some ready rotis for a simple and healthy weekday meal.
This recipe serves 4:
1 medium cabbage, sliced into 1 cm wide strips
1 packet of ready-cooked shelled prawns
1 cup of shelled fresh or frozen peas
1 tbsp grated ginger
3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Half tsp turmeric powder
Half tsp chilli powder
1 large bay leaf
1 tsp whole cumin
25 gm fresh coriander, chopped roughly
2 whole slim green chillies
1.5 tsp sunflower oil
Salt to taste
Wash the cabbage thoroughly in cold water. In a large pot, heat the oil over a high flame.
When the oil is hot, add the bay leaf and cumin seeds. As they start sizzling, chuck in the shredded cabbage.
Stir fry the cabbage for two minutes and then add the turmeric, chilli, cumin and coriander powders. Fry for another two minutes on the high flame until the cabbage is well-coated with the masalas.
Now lower the flame to a medium heat, add the ginger and garlic, cover the pot and simmer until the cabbage is cooked. You don’t need to add any water.
The cabbage will take a good 20 minutes to soften. within 10 minutes of cooking, stir in the peas, prawns and green chillies.
When the cabbage is moist but without gravy and soft, take the lid off and mix in the fresh coriander.
Add salt to taste and enjoy hot or cold.