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!


  1. Just had some coleslaw :-) I also like to use the leftover to stir-fry with rice.

  2. I've never acquired a taste for coleslaw, but I love cabbage. This looks so fragrant, like cabbage as comfort food.

  3. I like the look of this dish! And you put those packets of cabbage to MUCH better use than Sandra Lee! ; )

  4. Cabbage as comfort food...great idea!

  5. @tasty trix
    thanks! I rarely use anything that's packaged so when I find something I stick with it. Thank you soooo much for my award by the way. I was so consumed with my Halloween costume I was late in replying

  6. Something to do with those coleslaw kits! That's really ingenious! I also am not a coleslaw fan, so this is perfect for me... Now you need to make a recipe for those broccoli slaw bags that are cropping up everywhere! :)

    Peas Love Carrots

  7. So simple and quick. That is what I need for weekdays. Hardly have enough time to even sleep.

  8. Looking at the list of spices, I think this would be one of the best cabbage dishes I have ever eaten. This is a must try recipe!

  9. I love those little bags of cabbage too. Can't wait to try this!

  10. well, glad my obsession with cabbage that doesn't involve cutting and grating an entire head is paying off. I'll look for those broccoli slaw bags..haven't seen them yet.

  11. I would never have thought to mix coconut, cabbage, and peas... Looks great!

  12. @everything goes better with coconut

  13. Hi Kathy, exploring your blog the first time, and am very happy to read the ease with which you cook Indian food..20 yrs of experience does count.
    The poriyal looks perfect. Following you so that I can keep in touch.
    Do drop by whenever time permits, hopefully you will like my blog..



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