From humble beginnings come great things.
A simple vegetable curry served with fresh rotis (Indian flatbread) is a typical lunch in a Gujarati home. This sort of humble food is deeply rooted in my humble beginnings. And though, now, things may have changed on the outside, at heart, nothing has, and this simple Gujarati girl still craves these simple yet delicious curries. I cook them not only to satisfy my own cravings but to ensure that I can at least pass this portion of my heritage to my Canadian born, half-Indian children.
Typically, a Gujarati cabbage curry includes potatoes but I prefer to omit them (cause we eat enough potatoes!). Also, instead of using diced tomatoes, I purée them first, ensuring that they remain hidden from my 8-year-old who finds mushy pieces of tomatoes not suitable for human consumption. I also like to have the cabbage on the slightly crunchy side; it is more nutritious that way I’m told. If you prefer to have the cabbage well done, then simply add a few tablespoons of water or use an additional half of a tomato (about 50-70 g more) and increase the cooking time.
Indian-Spiced Cabbage with Tomatoes and Green Peas
- 325 g (about 1/2 of a small head) green cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded (be sure to fist remove outer damaged and tough leaves as well as the core)
- 140 g (about 1 medium) tomato, puréed or diced if you prefer
- 80 g (about 3/4 cups) frozen green peas
- 1/8 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp methi seeds
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small chili, finely sliced
- 8-10 curry leaves, fresh preferred but dry will do
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp chili powder (optional, add if you like it hot)
- In a karahi (or large frying pan or wok), heat oil over medium-high heat and add methi and mustard seeds. Allow the seeds to crackle for 15 seconds.
- Add chili and curry leaves and let fry for 5 seconds.
- Add cabbage and stir in the spices. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes and cook, covered for 5 minutes.
- Stir in peas and cook covered for another 5 minutes. Enjoy with fresh rotis or rice, as a light lunch or as a side for dinner.
Note 1: You should end up with a dry curry and the cabbage should remain slightly crunchy. If you wish to soften the cabbage further, you can add a bit of water (2-3 tbsp) or use an additional half of a tomato (about 50-70 g) and cook for longer.
Note 2: Also, if you wish to include potatoes, add 1 small potato, diced, along with the cabbage as it too requires a longer cooking time.