Stir-fried Cabbage, Bengal Gram and Coconut
Cabbage might seem like an uninteresting vegetable but it is inexpensive, widely available and especially when in season, really delicious. This is a lovely, light stir-fry with crisp tender cabbage enlivened with the spices and flavours of South India. It is a wonderful accompaniment to a curry or just as it is as a warm salad. If you don’t have time to cook the lentils, leave them out the dish will still be fantastic, it just wouldn’t be as nutritionally balanced. I buy a packet of frozen coconut when I go to an Indian or oriental shop and then keep it in the freezer for when I need it. If you don’t have any, use the desiccated coconut instead.
- 25g Bengal gram, washed well and soaked if you have time
- 1 tbs. vegetable oil¼ medium white cabbage head, finely shredded
- 1/3 tsp. mustard seeds
- ¼ tsp. Nigella seeds
- 1-3 dried red chillies, whole
- 10 fresh curry leaves
- 1½ tsp. chopped ginger
- Salt to taste
- ¾ tsp. turmeric powder
- 50g fresh grated coconut, you can also use 3-4 tbs. desiccated coconut
- 40g roasted peanuts, halved or roughly chopped
- 1½ tsp. lemon juice or to taste
Cook the lentils by boiling them in plenty of boiling, lightly salted water until just soft, around 35-45 minutes. Drain and reserve.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the mustard and Nigella seeds and once the popping dies down add the red chillies, ginger and curry leaves, cook for a further 10 seconds. Add the cabbage, turmeric and salt and stir fry for 5-6 minutes or until the cabbage is crisp tender.
Stir in the peanuts, lentils, coconut and a little lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning and lemon juice to taste and serve.