Monday, May 29, 2006

ARF/5-a-Day #22 - Cabbage with moong dal

Another recipe from Neelam Batra's 1000 Indian Recipes, this week's entry for ARF/5-a-Day #22. I love cabbage, despite its sulphurous smell while cooking, but this time the cabbage wasnt particularly smelly. Perhaps because I used green cabbage, which is my favourite because of its lovely colour and mild taste. Personally, I think that white cabbage is the smelliest and I try not to use it at all.

Anyway, this recipe is supposedly Punjabi in origin with a smidgen of South Indian flavour thrown in. I found it quite nice - it would pair very well both with rice and with chapaties.

I actually made it twice, the first time following Ms Batra's recipe pretty much exactly. I kind of wondered how the dal would cook when the recipe didnt call for any water at all to be added, but I took Ms Batra's advice on trust - namely, that the moisture from the cabbage would be enough to soften the dal.

As it turned out, the moong dal was JUST about cooked even though I kept the pan on the hob 5 minutes longer than the recipe called for. I liked the end result a lot because I quite like chewy dal, but I'm not sure it would be to everybody's taste. I wonder if Ms Batra's tasters/editors/publishers forgot to include some water in the list of ingredients.
It's happened in another recipe in her book, the first one I tried out. Not a major problem, but I guess small errors like this are inevitable in a cookbook of that size, with so many recipes!

Anyhow, the second time I made it, I sprinkled 4-5 tbsp water on the cabbage and let it steam gently in the covered pan - which worked out a lot better. The dal was cooked nicely but still retained its shape.

All in all, a quick and simple, quite aromatic recipe that I'm sure I'll be making again.

Recipe for:
Cabbage with moong dal


3 cups cabbage, finely shredded
1 tsp ginger, grated
3-4 serrano or birds eye chillies, finely chopped (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds, powdered
1 tbsp coriander powder
4-5 curry leaves, torn
1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
1/4 cup yellow moong dal, washed and drained

Salt to taste
2 tsp oil
Salt to taste
4-5 tbsp water (or as required)
2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander leaves for garnish


1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the ginger, chopped chillies, curry leaves, and fenugreek powder and fry for 30 seconds or so. Then add the coriander powder and mix in.

2. Add the cabbage and moong dal together and stir it all well on medium heat.

3. Turn the heat down, sprinkle the water over the cabbage and close the pan with a well-fitting lid.

4. Let the cabbage cook in its own steam. After 15 minutes, check to see if the dal is cooked. If a grain of dal is easily squashed between forefinger and thumb, it is done. If it is still a little hard in the centre, sprinkle another 2 tbsp water, re-cover the pan and cook for another 5 minutes.

5. Add salt to taste and the coriander leaves, mix in well.

6. Sprinkle with a pinch of garam masala and serve hot with rice and a curry, or with a gravy vegetable and chapaties.


Menu Today said...

Good one. Usually I use fenugreek powder in last stage.

Vaishali said...

Hi Shammi,
I, too, cooked cabbage last week, but the Maharashtrian way. Will blog about it next week. What I like in your recipe is the addition of fenugreek powder. Quite unique, I must say.

Susan said...

So is the water in the recipe your addition, or was is there in the original?

shammi said...

The original recipe didnt call for water. Call it my bold innovation ;)

Vineela said...

Hi Shammi,
Nice recipe and i love the way you presented the paneer with potato and green peas.
Thanks for sharing.

priya said...

Hi Shammi
I love your recipes.....I have tried quite a few and all of them have turned out well.
I love the way you give precise instructions so I know exactly what to expect....frankly your recipes are the only ones I follow blindly!!!
Keep up the good work...