Monday, November 2, 2009

Fast and Healthy And On The Plate In 10 Minutes



I seem to be fascinated by those little packages of chopped cabbage that are sold at the market. They're supposed to be used for coleslaw, an easy alternative to slicing and chopping. They're white cabbage, sometimes red cabbage, sometimes a bit of both. They're cheap and they're just the right size for a quick and easy side dish for 4.
So, I was cruising the market today, looking for something interesting for lunch and I thought why not a cute little bag of cabbage? I betcha I have something that would go with that!
Cabbage is a great vegetable, it doesn't waste ones' time, it cooks fast and is hard to mess up. When something is in the pan for just a few minutes it's kind of hard to screw up.
I decided to cook a Poriyal. But what about the cabbage? Well, a poriyal is a Tamil word for a South Indian vegetable dish. It's a simple mix of spices and channa dal, vegetables cooked quickly and dry, with a bit of grated coconut for a finish.
The reason I love these quick vegetable dishes is simply because, working at home I get caught up with writing and notice that.."Oh my god! It's almost one o'clock! Where's lunch??" also, "Who's cooking lunch? Me?!" Now that's when a dish like this comes in handy.
So, my husband fired up the grill and prepared the vegetables, lunch was ready in about 15 minutes.
How does this all work. Like this:
Start off with a deep skillet or karhai
1.) heat 2 Tbs of vegetable oil
When the oil is hot add in
2.) 1 tsp of mustard seeds
3.) 1 tsp of cumin seeds
4.) 1 dried red chili pepper broken in half
5.) 5 fresh curry leaves and...
6.) 1 tsp. of channa dal that's been soaked for a 1/2 hour in a bit of water

When the seeds begin to pop and sizzle toss in
7.) 2 green chilies slit down the middle and cut in half
stir them arouond for a mminute or two then add in
8.) 1 8 oz bag of shredded cabbage and
9.) 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen peas and
10.) 2 Tbs of water and salt to taste
Put the lid on the pan, lower the heat and let simmer for ten minutes. You can check it after 5 minutes, give it a stir and make sure it's keeping out of trouble.
When your cabbage and peas have cooked, toss in
11.) 2 Tbs of grated unsweetened dried coconut mix it all around and serve


I made this dish with green cabbage but it might be just as great with red cabbage or a blend of both. Give it a try one day when you run out of time and wonder, where and who's cooking lunch? These little bags of cabbage are almost as handy as a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, and hopefully you'll use it a lot more!

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