CABBAGE stinks WhEn IT is COOKED.
cOOked CabbAGe STINKS.
Cabbage tastes WEirD.
That’s what I love about cyberspace. You can say what you want without having to see all those folks rolling their eyes at you.
Ever since I was a kid, I hated cabbage – the smell, the taste, the texture. I dreaded those days when one of my neighbours would cook cabbage (or cauliflower). As I walked home after getting off the school bus on the main road, I felt the “aroma” getting stronger and stronger.
It’s amazing how many people love cabbage. If you are a south Indian there’s no escape from it at relatives’ homes.
My heart sank when, despite my protestations, gobs of smelly yellow mush were shovelled on my plate. “You don’t like cabbage? Try MY cabbage, you’ll love it”, they would say.
“No, thank you”, was always dismissed with more shovels of smelly yellow mush. :bruised: My mom hated cabbage, and no one forced her to eat it. But if you’re a kid, you can’t escape those damn cabbage sermons. :notlisten
Well, guess what, I’m all grownup and ancient now, and I still don’t love cabbage. Plus, I’m not the only one who thinks it stinks. I found that out when I tried to get email@example.com and was told that it had already been taken.
Fortunately, my wonderful mom never cooked cabbage (or eggplant or green beans). :love:
Jai, poor thing, ate lots of cabbage (and eggplant and green beans) growing up.
Even he cannot say it doesn’t reek without suffering from cognitive dissonance.
He’s kinda neutral towards it, and the only way both of us enjoy cabbage is as cole slaw (minus the mayo), especially if it is made with the milder Napa (Chinese) cabbage.
Recently, when our friend S made some cabbage poriyal while visiting, I realised that I didn’t hate cabbage any more. That’s because I’m no longer forced to eat it. I can negotiate a relationship with cabbage on my own terms.
Our cabbage rules:
1. Raw cabbage is best (in salads and cole slaw).
2. If you have to cook it, the less cooked, the better.
3. Cook it covered on medium flame and leave it alone. Don’t poke and prod it to the point that it launches into skunk mode.
4. Cabbage needs distractions – something with an extra flavour or texture dimension. Peas, raisins, nuts, etc. work well for this purpose.
After S left, we made his Cabbage Stir-fry again, with a couple of minor changes. It was nowhere close to the smelly yellow mush from my childhood. It actually paired well with lime rice and some pickle. Do I love cabbage? Not yet. But I’m getting there.
CABBAGE AND PEAS PORIYAL (STIR-FRY)
4-5 cups finely chopped cabbage
1 cup fresh or frozen and thawed peas
2 tsps oil (we used light sesame oil)
3 tablespoons grated coconut (fresh or frozen)
3 finely chopped green chillies
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal
5-6 curry leaves
salt to taste
1 tsp lime juice
2 tsps coconut oil
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1. Heat the oil, and add the mustard seeds and urad dal. When the seeds pop, add the green chillies, curry leaves and coconut. Stir for a few seconds.
2. Add the cabbage along with salt. (1/4 tsp turmeric powder can be added as well.) Be careful while adding the salt, as the cabbage cooks down a lot. Also add the peas. If using frozen, thaw and heat in the microwave, and add 2 minutes from the end.
3. Stir, cover and cook on a medium flame until the cabbage softens, but still retains some crunch.
4. Garnish with lime juice, coconut oil and cilantro.
After taking a picture, I tasted it and realised it was missing some oomph. In Bombay, one would say, “This needs some dum in the bum.”
In went 1/3 cup of toasted pumpkin seeds. Now, we’re talkin’.
Cabbage and Peas Poriyal with Pumpkin Seeds
That’s what most people would call this. I call this dish “Pumpkin Seeds Surrounded by Cabbage and Peas.” They add crunch and help distract from the cabbage. :dance:
This goes to Marta, the gorgeous Italian in the US who is hosting Fresh Produce of the month: Squash.