For me, cabbage is synonymous with the smell of school dining halls and that frightening cabbage soup diet that became popular in 1980s. Put simply, it holds no place in my heart. Cabbage rarely makes it into my shopping basket unless coleslaw is on the menu or we're making Jamie Oliver's Farfalle with Savoy Cabbage, Pancetta, Thyme, and Mozzarella.
Ever keen to work more veggie dishes into our 2020 list of meals though and conscious that cabbage is packed full of nutrients, I decided to take some inspiration from the Kerala Thoran and make a cabbage curry. My recipe is below. Not exactly a roaring success, so I imagine some finessing is required. Or maybe it was just the cabbage?!
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
Handful (8-10) of curry leaves
300g shredded sweetheart cabbage
200g stringless beans
2 birds eye chillies, finely sliced
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
Salt and pepper
Sprinkling of chilli flakes, to serve
Heat the coconut oil in wide non stick pan. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and fry on a high temperature until the mustard seeds start to pop (although keep them moving in the pan so that that they don't burn). Lower the heat and add the turmeric and onion and mix well to combine. Gently cook the onions for 6-8 minutes until softened.
Add the garlic, ginger, curry leaves, cabbage, beans and chillies. Season and combine well. Cook for a further 6 minutes before adding in the desiccated coconut. Cook for a few minutes longer until the cabbage and beans have softened to your liking.
Serve sprinkled with a few chilli flakes.