Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Cabbage chemistry

It was 5:05 on my bedside radio. I woke up with a decidedly uncomfortable feeling in the tummy. Low rumblings that sounded a bit like the bubbling noises you get when boiling eggs in a pot that’s a bit too big for the job. I could actually feel the air moving around the small intestine. Not pleasant! The culprit, of course, was the cabbage I had eaten while watching Coronation Street. df did warn that cabbage causes gas. It seems he was right. We had enjoyed a very tasty meal of cabbage and Indian roti (also called chappati by some). The recipe is my own Hands-on Cabbage. In my opinion, it’s the only way to eat cabbage. The boiled limp kind that my mother used to serve smelled of public lavatories and tasted of nothing very much (fortunately). My Hands-on Cabbage is great with Indian food and also makes a very nice accompaniment to sausages, lamb chops, steaks … try it.

Hands-on Cabbage Recipe:
Shred enough cabbage for two people (about four handfuls). Cut a large onion into thin slices. Chop a green chilli. Put the chopped cabbage, onion and chilli into a bowl with a handful of shredded coconut, a teaspoonful of turmeric powder and some salt.
(Be careful not to use too much salt at this stage. The cabbage looks more than it is. It will shrink down on cooking.)

Use your hands to rub the salt and turmeric into the cabbage mixture. Do this until the cabbage begins to feel moist.
Don’t rub your eyes or they two will feel more than a little moist. There is chilli on your fingers … remember.

Put a spoonful or two of oil into a wok. Add a teaspoonful of dhal (any except red lentils will do; urud is best), dry red chillies (optional), curry leaves, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Fry till the dhal turn light brown and the mustard seeds pop. Add the cabbage mixture and stir for a few minutes. Lower the heat, cover and leave it to cook. Stir the mixture once in a while.
Don’t add water, it completely ruins the taste. That’s it. It’s ready when the cabbage is cooked to your liking.

On second thoughts, maybe I shouldn’t blame the cabbage for the nocturnal rumblings. It could have been the glass of beer I had just before the meal. I suddenly have this rather scary image of a chemistry lesson where we used red cabbage juice as an indicator to measure the pH of various substances. One of those substances was beer. Yikes!

17 Comments:

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That sounds delicious, even with the after effects... I'm having that this weekend!

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