Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Simple Bengali Cabbage Curry

Simple Cabbage Curry 

Bangalir Sadha seedhe Bandhakopir ghanta 

Now some of the most simple dishes can give you such joy that you feel stumped about what culinary magic can do to you. This one is a simple common dish found in every household. Ranging from yellowish colour (due to love for turmeric) to a beautiful greenish yellow colour it is mildly sweet with a hint of that exotic flavour of cinnamon.

Now the usual norm is to use bodis (lentil which is soaked mashed and then made into tiny mountains which is sun dried and stored) which is fried to bring out that delightful crunchiness. Now having prepared this dish in a different state with no access to the "bodis" I gave it a shot with whatever was handy which was everything else but the "bodis" and yet the taste was amazing.

What you need is simple

I used 3/4th of a large sized cabbage and shredded it finely
1 heaped tbsp ginger  cumin chili paste (I used 1 green chili and Half a tsp cumin seeds)
1 large bay leaf
2 dried red chilies
Salt as per taste
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of asafoetida (one of the key ingredients to bring out flavour)
1.5 inch cinnamon
2 to 3 slit green chilies
Pinch of turmeric since I like mine retaining a bit of green colour.
1 tbsp ghee / clarified butter
Sugar as per taste. (Now Bengalis like their dishes a bit sweet but then your preference for sweetness varies from home to home so use as per your taste) I usually use 2 tsp sugar
Fresh finely chopped coriander leaves

A mild variation

For a bit of variation you can use :-

Half a tomato
1 cup soaked Bengal gram (must be soaked overnight)
1/2 cup water

Start by shredding your cabbage and making your pastes. Now heat the clarified butter and add the asafoetida, the add your cumin seeds and when they splutter add the dried red chili and bay leaf and the ginger cumin green chili paste , saute well and add your cinnamon after giving it a nice pounding and then add the cabbage. Cabbage does not need any water and so simply simmer but after covering it. Check after 7 minutes and you shall find the quantity to have reduced to half its original quantity. Stir well and if required sprinkle a bit of water and add salt, turmeric and sugar. Look till its all done and garnish with slit green chilies and fresh finely chopped coriander leaves. The fresh flavour it adds is hard to beat. Enjoy this simple dish with fluffy white rice.

For the variation

If you are using the tomato and Bengal gram just add the tomato after adding the spices and mix well and add the Bengal gram after adding the shredded cabbage. In this case you need to add the 1/2 cup water and bring it to a boil after adding the cabbage and Bengal gram and then simmering it covered till the water dries up.

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