Memories of winter evenings at Kharagpur, with my mother making phulkas on a cowdung cake chulha, and we children sitting around with plates of salad and this delicious Cabbage Kootu, impatiently waiting for the next hot phulka to land on our plates. Cabbage can be tasty too!
The traditional kootu is a little thick and grains of dhal are visible. This version is not quite as my grandmother would have made it, and I think it is more pleasing to the eye and the palate. The addition of other vegetables such as capsicum, potato and green peas adds to the flavour and nutrient value.
Green Cabbage Kootu- not quite as my grandmother made it
- 1 cabbage Green (small)
- 1 Brocolli floret
- 1 green capsicum (small)
- 1 potato Boiled (small)
- 1/2 cup Peas (fresh, shelled)
- 1/2 tomato
- 1 pinch turmeric powder
- to taste salt
For the paste:
- 1 cm ginger piece
- 1 green chilli
- 2 curry leaves
- 3 tbsps coconut Grated
- 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
- 2 Peppercorns
- 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- Fenugreek seeds (methi) (a few)
- 1 red chili Dry
- a few curry leaves
- 2 coriander (leafy stalks)
- Pressure cook the potato, peel and dice into pieces about an inch in length.
- Pressure cook the dhal till soft.
- Wash the cabbage, broccoli, tomato and capsicum well. Chop the cabbage and dice the other vegetables.
- Soak the peas in a cup of water till ready to use.
- Grind the coconut, green chillies, cumin seeds, ginger, pepper corns and just 2 curry leaves with enough water to make a smooth paste.
- Boil the cabbage and peas in a pan with water just sufficient to cook the cabbage, till almost done.
- Add the turmeric,the cooked diced potatoes, capsicum, tomato and broccoli.
- Cook for 5 minutes
- Mix the dhal and paste and whisk/stir till the dhal combines with the paste. Add the mixture to the pan. Add salt, cook for another 5 minutes.
- Keep the Kootu a little fluid, not thick.
- Temper with mustard seeds, cumin, fenugreek, curry leaves and one dry red chilli in hot coconut oil.
- Garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with chapatis. Goes well with rice and rasam or vathalkuzhambu (spicy tamarind soup)
- You could use different coloured bell peppers instead of just the capsicum.