Monday, June 03, 2013

The cabbage was so pretty, I sent the turmeric away....

This is a gloriously simple cabbage bhaji (poriyal in Tamil, palya in Kannada) and you can make it with any other vegetable
1 small cabbage finely chopped
1 green chili, chopped
1 tablespoon shredded fresh coconut
11/2  tablespoon oil
3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon jeera
1/2 dried red chili, broken into bits
4-6 curry leaves
Pinch of hing
Salt to taste

Garnish - finely chopped fresh coriander
Heat the oil, add red chili pieces, mustard seeds and after a few seconds the jeera and hing. When the mustard starts spluttering, add the curry leaves and as they start to brown add the cabbage and the chopped green chilies. Saute over high heat till the cabbage starts to turn transparent. (You need to turn the cabbage constantly so that it doesn't burn.) Now add the shredded coconut, salt. Stir well, lower the heat and cover the pan. The cabbage should steam in its own moisture but check after a few minutes and add a dash of water if necessary. When the cabbage is cooked, add the fresh coriander, stir for a few seconds and remove from heat. Serve with chappati/ rice/dal etc etc

TIP. When I was on a diet, I'd add cold cooked rice to this bhaji - just about 2 tablespoons - and it make make a delicious, low-cal "pulao" that worked specially well as packed lunch!

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Why Popeye is so right about spinach...

Palak Raita 
2 small bunches of palak
250 gms curd, whipped to a creamy smoothness

Freshly ground pepper
Chopped fresh coriander

2 teaspoons oil
3/4 teaspoon jeera
1/2 broken dried red chili
Pinch of hing

Wash m cook whole palak leaves in a little water (about 2 tablespoons per bunch). Don't cover the pan or the palak will lose its lovely colour. Allow to cool and then chop. Add to whipped curd along with salt n pepper. Heat oil, add jeera, hing, red chili. When the jeera starts to darken, remove from heat and add to the raita. Stir in the chopped coriander Garnish: fresh coriander. Chill and serve...with anything, even hot, buttered toast!
TIP : You can vary the seasoning and select your favourite : roasted jeera powder, chat masala, freshly ground mustard etc., etc