Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Curried Cabbage with Tender Whole Mung Beans

This Bengali-style cabbage dish can be cooked in ghee, mustard oil or vegetable oil, yielding , pleasantly pungent or mild flavour. Mustard oil, unlike other oils, is always heated to the smoking point, to reduce its nose-tingling flavour. You can either cook the cabbage until it is quite tender or leave it bright green, with some crunch. You could also substitute 1 1/2 cups of sprouted mung or aduki beans for the whole mung beans for a whole mung beans.

Serves: 4 or 5

Whole green mung beans - 2/3 cup, sorted and cleaned
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Black mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Hot green chillies - 2, sliced lengthwise into slivers, or a desired
Fresh ginger root - 1 inch piece, scraped and cut into thin julienne
Ghee or oil - 5 tbsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry leaves - 10
           or Bay leaf - 1
Small green cabbage - 1 small, trimmed, cored and finely shredded
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Ground Coriander - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
Maple syrup or honey - 1 tsp

1. To quick-cook the mung beans, wash well, then drop them into 2 quarts/liters of boiling water. Simmer over low heat for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from heat, cover and set aside for 1 hour.
2. Bring the water to boil again and simmer for up to 1 hour or until just tender but not broken down. Drain the beans and set aside.
2. Combine the cumin seeds, back mustard seeds, green chillies and ginger in a small dish.
3. Heat the ghee or oi in a wok or large, heavy casserole over moderately high heat.
4. When hot, drop in the spice-seed mixture and fry until the mustard seeds begin to sputter and pop.
5. Immediately drop in the asafoetida, curry leaves or bay leaf, cabbage, turmeric and coriander and cook, stirring frequently, for 10-20 minutes or until the cabbage is wilted, browned and crisp, or quite tender.
6. The cooking time will depend on the size of your pan, the quantity of cabbage, heat intensity and preferred degree of doneness.
7. In the last few minutes, add the beans, salt, lemon juice and sweetener.
8. Serve piping hot or at room temperature.

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