Curried cabbage and peas (Bandgobhi aur matar ki sabzi)
Posted by fourclankitchen on May 7, 2010
I love vegetables belonging to the mustard family, especially cabbage. When fresh English peas are available, making curried cabbage and peas moves to the top of my list, especially for a weeknight meal. The recipe is simple if you use a food processor to shred a green or purple cabbage, cole-slaw style. Boiling peas in salted water until they are in the zone between just hard-just soft also speeds up the cooking process. So here goes:
½ a head of cabbage (green or purple or a mix, shredded cole-slaw style in the food processor)
½ onion, thinly sliced in the food processor
1½ cup fresh green peas, shelled and boiled until just turning tender (alternatively, use frozen peas, thawed drained).
2 tbs. oil
pinch of hing (asafetida, omit if you don’t have it)
½ tsp turmeric pwd.
1 tsp mustard seeds (black)
½ tsp grated ginger
1-2 dry cayenne peppers, broken into 2-3 bits (available at the Indian or Asian grocery stores)
salt to taste
1-2 tbs. water, as needed.
Cilantro for garnish, optional.
Set peas to boil in salted water, or steam for 20 min, with a little salt sprinkled on them. If boiling, drain peas in a colander as soon as the water begins to boil and the peas begin to soften. Heat the oil in a large pan (I like a cast iron wok, it gives you the crisp stir fried cabbage taste rather than icky soggy cabbage taste). When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, cayenne peppers, asafetida and ginger and stir-fry for 1-2 min till fragrant. Then add the onions and the turmeric and stir-fry till the onions soften and begin to turn brown (5-7 min in a wok). Then add the peas and the salt and stir fry for 1-2 min till the peas pick up the flavors. Then add the cabbage and stir to mix all ingredients. Stir fry on medium-high heat for 10—15 min, till the cabbage is mostly soft, with just a touch of crunchiness (sort of like the cabbage in Chinese moo-shoo). If the cabbage starts to brown too much, add water, a tablespoon at a time. You don’t want too much water, it will cause the cabbage to wilt prematurely and leach its flavor into the liquid. Yucky stuff. Taste and adjust the salt and garnish with cilantro, if using. Serve with rice, raita, daal (lentils) or any flat bread. If you have leftovers, you can roll it up in tortilla and take it for lunch the next day.
Variations:. You can mix the cabbage with carrots or kohlrabi (or make this with the latter alone). You can subsitute the peas with edamame or lima beans or potatoes. You can finish this off with a ¼ cup of shredded coconut (unsweetened, buy frozen at an Indian grocery store). You can add cashews or pepitas or curry leaves to the initial temper (mustard seeds etc). You get the picture.