This is a classic recipe from the Punjab region in the north of India. I am Punjabi, so we eat this dish often. Curried cabbage is delicious and takes very little time to prepare. It can be served as a side dish with any protein you like. Traditionally, it is served with dal (see my Autumn Dal recipe), yogurt (My Mom’s Yogurt) and roti.
- 1 medium sized head of green cabbage
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 2 green chilies
- 10 curry leaves (optional, if you don’t have these leave them out)
- 2 inches of ginger
- juice of 1 small lemon (in the photo the yellow cube in the center is a cube of frozen lemon juice. When I get a lot of lemons from my neighbor’s tree, I juice them and freeze them into cubes.)
- 1/2 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon of nigella seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon of garam masala
- 3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the cabbage in half, remove the core and then chop it coarsely.
- Peel the ginger and mince it.
- Finely mince the green chilies (I use them seeds and all. If you want the dish less spicy you can discard the seeds.)
- Remove the curry leaves from their stems (the curry leaves are used whole and they are edible. Unlike bay leaves, they do not need to be removed.)
- Remove the cilantro leaves from their stems. Set aside a handful of leaves for garnish. The remaining leaves and chopped up stems will be used in the cooking process.
- Coat a heavy stainless steel skillet with grapeseed oil. Turn the flame to medium and heat up the oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the cabbage first. Then add the chilies, ginger, curry leaves, cilantro and all three seeds.
- Toss everything together and sauté until the seeds are toasted and the cabbage is slightly brown. This should take about 5 minutes.
- At this point, add the tomato paste, powdered spices and 1 teaspoon of salt. Sauté for another 5 minutes so that the tomato paste and spices have a chance to toast.
- Now add the lemon juice. Turn the flame to low and cover with a lid. Cook covered until the cabbage is tender. My husband likes his cabbage a little crunchy. Most Indian people like the cabbage to be soft.
- Once the cabbage is cooked to your liking, turn off the flame. Taste the dish and adjust the salt and pepper to your taste. Keep the lid on till you are ready to serve.
- When you are ready to serve, remove the lid and toss in the reserved cilantro leaves for garnish.
Transfer the cabbage to a serving platter. We usually serve it family style.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. My neighbor brought me a whole bunch of cruciferous vegetables. These green leafy veggies are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. When prepared correctly, they are delicious. My husband loves all of them. Below is a photo.
I will be posting additional cruciferous veggie recipes in the future.
I love okra. My neighbor, Billy brought me this lovely okra from his garden. I decided to make Bhindi Masala. The okra in this dish is not at all slimy. This is a classic Northern Indian recipe. The original recipe uses dried pomegranate seeds instead of tomatoes for tartness. Tomatoes are native to South America so the original Indian recipes do not have tomato. My neighbor also brought me these amazing tomatoes, so I decided to use them. These days tomatoes are used in many Indian recipes.
- 2 lbs of fresh okra
- 6 plum tomatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 2 inches of ginger
- 1 inch of fresh turmeric
- 1 green chili
- 1 teaspoon of tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon of garam masala (this is a hot Indian spice mix. I make my own, but you can buy it at an Indian grocery store)
- 10 sprigs of cilantro leaves
- grapeseed oil for cooking
- salt and pepper to taste
PREP: IMPORTANT TIP – DO NOT WASH THE OKRA
Moisture will lead to slime. If you have to wash it, then make sure you dry it very well before cooking. If you need to store the okra, put it in a paper bag. The paper bag will absorb moisture. Storing it in a plastic bag, will develop moisture, which will lead to slime and will also make the okra spoil faster.
- Slice okra into thin discs. Discard the stems.
- Slice the onion into long thin slices
- Pull the cilantro leaves off their stems
- Finely dice the ginger. If the skin is fresh leave it on. If the skin is dried out, peel the ginger.
- Dice the tomatoes
- Finely mince the green chili
FRYING THE OKRA: Frying the okra on high heat burns off the slime. The result is an okra dish that is not at all slimy.
- Coat a heavy non-stick skillet with grapeseed oil
- Turn the heat on high and let the oil heat up till it is very hot
- Add the okra in a single layer. You may have to cook the okra in batches. Coat the pan with more grapeseed oil after frying each batch. If you put more than a layer of okra in the pan it will steam instead of fry.
- Fry the okra until it is dark brown and the slime has burned off. Let the okra sit for 4-5 minutes. Then stir. Then let it sit for 4-5 minutes and then stir again. Keep doing this until no more slime appears when you stir.
- Remove the okra from the pan into a glass bowl. Let it sit while you make the spicy base.
COOKING THE SPICY BASE:
- Place the onions, ginger, and chilies in a large, heavy stainless steel skillet.
- Grate in the fresh turmeric. I love the flavor of fresh turmeric. You can buy turmeric when it is available and store it in the freezer. Pull out a piece 5 minutes before you are ready to grate it. It grates well when it is fresh or partially frozen. Don’t thaw it out fully because it will get mushy. I usually buy fresh turmeric at the Indian grocery store. I have on occasion seen it at my local supermarket, but it is more expensive than at the Indian grocery store. You can also use powdered turmeric, but it will be added later along with the garam masala. Do not add it at this point because the powder will burn.
- Add a little grapeseed oil and sauté the aromatics, on medium heat, till the onions turn golden.
- Make a hot spot in the center and add the tomato paste
- Cook the tomato paste for a minute and then stir it in
- Stir in the garam masala and let it toast for 1 minute. If you are using powdered turmeric instead of fresh, add it along with the garam masala.
- Add the tomatoes and cilantro leaves
- Stir and let the tomatoes cook down for 5 minutes
- Add the fried okra
- Stir and cook for 5 minutes
- Add salt and pepper to taste
Transfer to a platter and serve family style. It is usually eaten with rotis, dal and yogurt. I have not yet posted my recipe for rotis (an Indian flat bread), but here are the links for Autumn Dal (split mung beans with kale) and My Mom’s Yogurt.
Bhindi masala can also be served as a side dish with any meat or fish. I like topping it with Amritsari Masala Fish.
The dish as served above makes a yummy, satisfying and figure-friendly meal. ENJOY !!!
An update from June 7, 2022: While in Mexico I could not find okra so I used Nopales to make this recipe. I named it Spicy Pan Fried Nopales (Nopal Masala). It is my first Mexican/Indian fusion dish. It is also my 100th post!!