Saturday, March 21, 2015

Cabbage chutney

Cabbage is one of the low calorie vegetables and it is a staple in South Indian cooking. Making stir fry is the most common way to cook the cabbage in our house. I never knew if I would find something good in it other than its lesser price in all seasons. While I was staying in an working women's hostel, we used to get some newer kind of chutneys like this. It was run by Catholic sisters and we were given the best of the season's food, but it would be centered around health only. Though I always appreciate all the foods provided, I couldn't realize the health benefits behind the various salads and chutneys at that age :) Myself and my friends used to think that coconut chutneys are the best. One day we started asking for sambar or someother well known chutney with breakfast,  as it seems weird to have vegetables in breakfast time....then my favorite Stella sister, (the most friendly hostel warden) explained us and told us about the goodness behind sneaking in vegetables into all our foods. She explained how they are maintaining a huge vegetable/fruit garden in their farm all by themselves and providing us and many people around at a nominal price. From that moment I started falling in love with these chutneys made of cabbage, brinjal or any veggies ,as they were introduced to me by some great people I could ever meet :)I am sure , it is by her blessings and sweet explanation I could admire healthy cooking in a graceful way.
Hope you too start including vegetables along with every meal and enjoy everyday !
Cabbage chutney with idli for breakfast or dinner.

Cabbage (shredded) -  2 cups / 100 gms
shallot onion - 5
garlic - 4 cloves
dry red chilly - 5
oil - 1 tsp
urid dal - 1 tsp
cumin - 1/2 tsp
tamarind - small gooseberry size
salt - to taste
curry leaves - few

To temper:
sesame oil - 1 tbsp
mustard - 1 tsp
urid dal - 1 tsp
hing - pinch
curry leaves - few
Heat few drops of oil in a pan. Fry dry red chillies till it smells nice. Keep aside.
In the same pan add few more drops of oil and add the curry leaves, peeled shallot, garlic and saute till shallot turns golden brown. Then add urid dal and keep stirring in low heat till it becomes mild red. Take this out and keep along with fried chillies.
In the same pan, add shredded cabbage (if needed add some oil for sauteing) and saute till the cabbage wilts. Switch off and let cool everything.
In the meantime soak the tamarind in some hot water.
Now grind together the cabbage, fried items, salt and tamarind.
Again heat the same pan with 1 tbsp sesame oil. Add mustard, urid dal. As soon as the mustard starts popping add hing and curry leaves. Pour the prepared chutney to the tempering and cook for 2-3 minutes till the raw smell vanishes.
Cabbage chutney is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve as side dish with idli or dosai.

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Quick version:
Sometimes I make this chutney using left over cabbage poriyal. Click and see the recipe.

cabbage poriyal (stir fry) - 2 cup
tamarind - 1 inch
tomato - 2
salt - to taste
idli podi - 2 tbsp
Tempering : (see above recipe)

Microwave the chopped tomato, tamarind with 1 cup of water and cook well.
Grind the cabbage fry, tomato, tamarind, salt, idli podi together to a fine paste with enough water.
If needed add some red chilli powder.
Do the tempering and saute the chutney again for 2-3 minutes till the raw smell vanishes.

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