Cabbage and prawn

Mallika Basu - Cabbage and prawn

Posted 20th July 2007

cabbage.jpgToday, I felt the desperate need for good sushi at lunchtime.

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.

7 responses to “Cabbage and prawn”

  1. sra says:

    Really unusual dish, this! Sig had a bittergourd and prawn dish on her blog today – season for unusual combos, it looks like! We make cabbage with kheema too!

  2. Asha says:

    Brollies are permanent fixture in UK,huh?;D

    Really unusual combo! I love Cabbage though,it stinks a little but not a problem for me.Yesterday,I saw a Shrimp and Bitter gourd combo!:)
    Looks like a great dish.Enjoy.

  3. Anita says:

    So, what was the sushi lunch?

    I wish I knew how to select my prawns and shrimps…fish I can. This seems an interesting combination – we cook cabbage (and many other veggies) with good old mutton.

  4. arul says:

    I tried this and it was so tasty. I’ve tried so many recipes for cabbage and they all come out too soggy whereas this is the perfect one. Thanks!!!

  5. Shella says:

    Say Prawns n I am there. that’s how much I love them. Some people think I’m crazy. I’ve never heard of prawns & cabbage. Nice combo I guess, but that’s bcs of the prawns. YOu put prawns into anything n they turn good!!! ……there I go again!!

  6. Marc G says:

    Hi Mallika,

    I gave this recipe a try, but I don’t like seafood so I left out the prawns. I LOVED it! I made it two days in a row and have devised some changes to the recipe to add some color and some extra flavor.

    I use two plum tomatoes, cubed, and a small onion sliced. I sautée them with the cumin seeds and bay leaf until the onion goes limp, then I throw in the cabbage.

    Also, I added a half tsp of garam masalas at the end with the fresh coriander and salt to taste.

    It turned out fantastic! Thanks for getting me started!!

  7. foodie says:

    what is ready cooked shelled prawn? This is the most important part. Details are a must. The prawns have to be just rightly cooked for this recipe to succeed.

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