September 6th, 2010

cabbage patch

After making dolma, chances are you still have enough cabbage laying around for a simple stir fry. Here’s how to do something with that leftover cabbage in 15 minutes.
I learned this dish when I was working in an Indian Restaurant washing dishes; my first job after art school 13 years ago. Don’t laugh! I was doing my grad school applications at the moment. Everything turned out great, AND I can also cook Indian food as a result. But I diverge. The main cook, Yunus Bhai, who had a legendary luck at gambling and anything related to it, used to do this dish occasionally for us to eat in the kitchen. Mostly because it is cheap and easy (the owner, Murad Bhai was a legendary cheapskate). At first I thought it was Gujarati in origin because it resembles gujarati sem, but later I saw it in other cuisines, including at our temple where everybody is Sri Lankan. So I have no idea where exactly it is from other than “generally South Asian.” But I digress. On to the dish!

  1. First chop you cabbage in thin strips by slicing the whole head and then slicing the rounds at the same length. 1.5 mins
  2. Heat a kadhai, or a wok, or even a large pot. 1 min
  3. Add oil and follow with black mustard seeds. 30 secs
  4. When they start to pop add the turmeric stir once and immediately add the cabbage and toss around thoroughly until the yellow color has permeated the cabbage. 45 secs
  5. Add salt to taste and toss again. 30 secs
  6. Add some water. How much? Hmm…It’s probably about 1/4-1/5 in height when compared to the cabbage. 30 secs
  7. Toss around one more time to let the salt dissolve with the water and cover. All of this on High Heat, by the way. 30 secs
  8. Let it cook for about 2 minutes, still on high heat, toss one more time and cover again. Leave for one more minute and see if its dry. If you added too much water, don’t cover it the second time and let the water evaporate.

As you remember–and to Binnur’s chagrin–I had done my dolma with red cabbage, and if you know your colors then you know that purple and yellow are complements. Well, it turns out that red cabbage and turmeric are perfect complements on the Munsell system, because my cabbage turned gray-black-slate, not very appetizing, which is why I am posting a more attractive picture from another site (credited properly of course).

نوش جان

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