Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I've Got a Crush...

...on Indian food! I have fallen in love with the wonderful flavors, varied textures, and interesting ingredients of Indian cuisine, so I've been making a lot of it lately. A whole lot. I checked out three Indian cookbooks from the library and have been researching it on the internet. I'm kind of nerding out about it. Anyway, here is one of my favorite dishes I've made so far, Cabbage Thoran. It's a dry curry with lots of mustard seeds and shredded coconut laced into simmered cabbage and spices. I've adapted it from a wonderful cookbook, Cuisines of India, and I'm just crazy about it! Cabbage Thoran (serves 6-8 with other dishes)
Adapted from Cuisines of India and various internet sites

2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
4 cups cabbage, shredded
2 Thai chilis, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
10 fresh curry leaves, chopped (if unavailable, use Thai basil leaves)
2 Tbs vegetable oil
2 Tbs black mustard seeds
10 fresh curry leaves,chopped (or use 4 dried bay leaves)
1 large onion, diced
2 cups cooked yellow split peas--optional, to make as a main dish

In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut, cabbage, chilis, garlic, salt, spices (turmeric through cumin), and curry leaves. Stir to mix well.
In a large wok or deep pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds to the pan and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until they sizzle and begin to pop. Add the curry leaves and onions and saute 3-5 minutes, until the onion softens and begins to brown. Add cabbage mixture to the pan and cook 8-10 minutes, until the cabbage has softened and cooked down a bit. You may need to add water, a few tablespoons at a time, during the cooking process if the mixture becomes too dry. Fold in the cooked split peas and add 1/2 cup water. Reduce heat to low and cover pan; let simmer for 3-5 minutes until the mixture has thickened slightly. Top with sprigs of fresh cilantro and serve with basmati rice, roti, and plenty of pickle and chutneys.

I served mine with hot mango pickle and a cooling cilantro raita! Balance! For this, and many, Indian recipes you will likely have to take a trip to your local Indian or Asian market. Those places are like field trips for me, they're so great...I get sucked in for at least an hour every visit!


Cara Sheppard said...

Mmmm... that looks fabulous! I love Indian food, but don't cook it nearly enough. You've inspired me!

Millie said...

that sure looks mighty tasty.