Here is a very simple version of a dish that, in one form or the other, is very common across large parts of India. Normally, I make it very simply, with just cabbage, onion and potatoes, frying the potatoes first and cooking the cabbage so that it still retains a lot of snap. In this instance, however, I was in the middle of using up a lot of stuff in the fridge and pantry that needed to be disposed of before leaving town for a bit; and so I threw in some sweet potato and a cup of chopped tomatoes. It turned out quite well. And so here is the recipe so I can remember what I did and do it again. It’s still a very simple recipe and past the (minor) hassle of chopping the cabbage there’s not a whole lot to it. And if you don’t have sweet potatoes on hand, regular potatoes will be fine too.
- 1 medium green cabbage, cored and chopped.
- 1 large red onion, sliced.
- 1 lb sweet potatoes or potatoes (or a mix), peeled and cubed.
- 1 cup chopped tomato.
- 3-5 dried red chillies.
- 3/4 tspn black mustard seed.
- 3/4 tspn turmeric powder.
- A small piece of cinnamon or cassia bark.
- A pinch of sugar.
- A pinch of garam masala.
- Heat the oil and bung in the cinnamon.
- Once the cinnamon has become fragrant add the red chillies and the mustard seeds.
- As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop add the potatoes, onions, turmeric and salt and saute over medium heat till the potatoes are half cooked.
- Add the cabbage and mix in thoroughly. Saute over medium-high heat till the cabbage begins to wilt.
- Now add the tomatoes and sugar, mix in thoroughly and saute over medium heat till the tomato breaks down.
- Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat till the potatoes are fully cooked.
- Sprinkle the garam masala over and serve with rice or chapatis.
- You could leave out the tomato if you wanted but keep in mind that as there’s no water being used all the moisture will now come from only the cabbage. So you’ll have to be careful it doesn’t scorch at the bottom before the potatoes are done.
- Alternatively, give the potatoes a harder fry at first and cook the cabbage far less at the end. Don’t do this if you’re using tomatoes though as otherwise you’ll end up with big chunks of tomato in the final dish.
- How finely you chop or shred the cabbage will have a surprising impact on the dish. I don’t like to go too fine myself but that’s largely because I’m lazy.