Indian vegetable dishes are most often tinged yellow, the color of turmeric. Recipes high on tomatoes and red chilies may be red, those that rely on leafy vegetables – green. White is rare – one reason that makes this cabbage coconut stir fry exceptional.
I learned this style of cooking cabbage from a Tamil friend. I love its simplicity, the fact that it uses no dry spice powders at all except asafoetida. After bingeing on masaledaar rajma chawal for lunch, I would turn to chapatis and cabbage coconut stir fry for dinner.
- Cabbage – 250 grams
- Fresh coconut – 1/2 cup, scraped
- Green chilies – 2
- Salt – to taste
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Asafoetida – 1/4 teaspoon
- Oil – 2 teaspoons
- Fresh coriander leaves – for garnishing
How To Make Cabbage Coconut Stir Fry:
Prep the ingredients: Wash the cabbage well. Grate it.
What if you are in a hurry and don’t have a food processor with grater attachment? Do what I do – chop the cabbage into 1-inch chunks and give it a couple of really quick turns in the mixer/grinder. Stir the cabbage pieces between runs for even effect.
Done! Just enough to break the cabbage to bits, not so much that it becomes chutney.
[Getting a proper food processor would be best, of course.]
Chop green chilies finely.
Scrape the coconut from its shell. Or repeat the above technique with the mixer/grinder to get grated coconut:
Cook the cabbage: In a thick bottomed pan, heat a teaspoon of oil. When hot, add grated cabbage and cook on medium-high heat. Sprinkle water if you see it browning. Cook till the water has evaporated – about 5 mins, adjust depending on how finely the cabbage has been grated. The cabbage should retain its crunch and light color.
Do the tadka: When the cabbage is almost done, heat another pan with a teaspoon of oil. When hot, add mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the mustard seeds splutter, add green chilies. After 30 seconds, transfer the cooked cabbage to this pan along wiht grated coconut.
Sprinkle salt to taste.
Toss the cabbage and coconut together for a few seconds. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Cabbage coconut stir fry is ready to serve.
Have it on the side with rice and sambar, or with chapatis.
You may an additional ingredient to the tadka, right after asafoetida: a teaspoon of urad dal. Cook till the urad dal has changed color to golden, then add green chilies and proceed with the rest of the steps