Living On Food

Shredded Cabbage With Green Peas


The first dish I tried out of The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking was Shredded Cabbage With Green Peas, on page 201 in my copy.

Here is the recipe as it was in the book:

Combine the caraway seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cloves and cardamom seeds in a spice mill or mortar and grind to a powder. Set aside.

Heat the ghee or butter in a large, heavy casserole over moderately high heat. When it is hot, add the tomatoes, half of the powdered spices, and the turmeric and cayenne or paprika, and cook, stirring often, until the puree is reduced to a thick sauce. Add the cabbage and stir until it glistens. Cover and reduce the heat to low, or place in a preheated 325 degF (160 degC) oven, and cook for 15 minutes.

Add the fresh peas, stir and continue to cook for 15-30 minutes, stirring once or twice to check the liquid. If the dish becomes dry, add 2-3 tablespoons (30-45 ml) of water. Add frozen peas only in the last 2-3 minutes, along with the fresh herbs, salt and remaining powdered spices. Toss to mix.

And here is what I actually did:

I used half a stick of butter instead of the ghee, since I didn't have any. I'll have to make a batch of ghee soon, so I have it available.

The spice mix I ground up with a mortar and pestle. I've used the mortar and pestle before, but I decided rather quickly that if I was going to grind this many seeds up regularly, I was going to have to get a spice grinder. I'm planning on picking up one of the cheap coffee blade grinders, which should be perfect for spices.

I used a pound of sugar snap peas in pods for the peas, and paprika for the red spice. I also added some water (maybe a 1/4 to 1/2 cup) early on, as it seemed a bit dry, that seemed to be just the right amount of liquid at the end.

Upon adding the peas, I kept the pan covered, which seemed to be the correct thing to do, though I suppose I could have just kept adding water.

And the result? Delicious. Not really spicy, but a lot of flavor. Well, I thought it was delicious, Carol thought there was too much cardamom. We ate it with some African Peanut Soup and a bit of a leftover chicken pasta dish, I think it would also go really well over rice.

All material Copyright © 2009–2019 Ulysses Somers, except where otherwise noted.
Please don't send email to