Tag Archives: Cabbage

Kooky Mess

Kooky Mess

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Kooky Mess

 

 

 

 

 

 

At times, there are recipes that I concoct which defy categorisation or even label and this is a very good example.

The day I was making it, I was asked by three people what I was having for dinner and I was at a total loss for words. I mean, how do you explain a bowl of mixed mash, which briefly sums up this kooky mess?!

To quote Francois Mauriac, “To love someone is to see a miracle invisible to others.” And that is exactly how I feel about today’s recipe.

a bowl of mashed vegetables may not be to everyone’s taste but I am totally in love with this utterly comforting mess!

Ingredients

1 Medium sweet potato

1 Cup shredded cabbage

1 Large carrot

1 Large onion

1-2 Tablespoons cheddar cheese, crumbled

1 Teaspoons olive oil

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash, boil, peel and mash the sweet potato.
  2. Wash, scrape and finely grate the carrot.
  3. Peel, wash and finely slice the onion.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
  5. When hot, lower the heat and throw in the sliced onions along with salt to taste.
  6. Mix well, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Uncover and add the shredded cabbage and grated carrot.
  8. Once again, cover and cook for 7 to 8 minutes.
  9. Uncover and add the mashed sweet potato, freshly ground black pepper and cheese.
  10. Mix well and pat the mixture down.
  11. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  12. Serve hot or warm with some hot sauce.

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Fat Free Pumpkin, Cabbage & Spinach Soup

Fat Free Pumpkin, Cabbage and Spinach Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The festivities are over, decorations have been taken down and it is back to routine as we get into 2014. In my case, this also means it is back to my alternate-day-soup regime.

When I started having soup every other day beginning of last December, I felt healthier and guilt-free about the excess over Christmas and New Year. And the best part was that I actually lost weight even though I was feasting and indulging.

I think this is a more practical, enjoyable and stress free approach to  weight management (as opposed to over indulging and then going on crash or excessive diets to lose the pounds).

say hello to a filling and deliciously creamy soup

Today’s soup features pumpkin, cabbage and spinach. Pumpkin provides just the right body and a slightly sweet touch to counterbalance the otherwise “bland” taste of boiled spinach and cabbage.

The soup is surprisingly flavoursome and creamy. And of course, so low in calories!

Ingredients

250 Grams pumpkin

1 Cup cabbage

250 Grams spinach

1 Stock cube

1 Teaspoon allspice powder

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Salt to taste

Method

  1. First, we need to prep the vegetables. Wash and cube the pumpkin. Leave the skin on, it provides additional taste.
  2. Wash and roughly chop the cabbage.
  3. Wash the spinach. Retain stems if tender.
  4. In a large pot, put the pumpkin and cabbage.
  5. Add the stock cube, salt to taste and 2 cups of water.
  6. Bring to boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Open the lid and add the spinach.
  8. Cover and let this cook for 10 more minutes.
  9. Once the vegetables have cooled down, strain them retaining the cooking liquor.
  10. Put the strained vegetables in a food processor or a blender. You want to make a puree but try and leave whole some pieces of cabbage and pumpkin.
  11. In a soup pot, add the cooking liquor.
  12. To this, add the pureed vegetables, allspice powder and freshly ground black pepper.
  13. Heat it gently till bubbles start appearing on the surface.
  14. Switch off the burner and serve hot.

Note:

  1. I had used chicken stock cube. You can use vegetable if you prefer.
  2. If you don’t have allspice powder, blend some cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and add a pinch of this mixture to the soup.

Here is how I had chopped the pumpkin and cabbage. You can see that I’d not peeled the pumpkin.

Pumpkin and Cabbage Ready for Fat Free Pumpkin, Cabbage and Spinach Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adding spinach once the other two vegetables have partly cooked.

Spinach for Fat Free Pumpkin, Cabbage and Spinach Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooked pumpkin, spinach and cabbage ready to be pureed.

Cooked Pumpkin, Cabbage and Spinach for Fat Free Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End result: a delicious bowl of fat free pumpkin, cabbage and spinach Soup

A Delicious Bowl of Fat Free Pumpkin, Cabbage and Spinach Soup

Fat Free Red Cabbage, Carrot & Pea Soup

Fat Free Red Cabbage, Carrot and Pea Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following the Christmas indulgence, last night I fancied a simple soup dinner.

say hello to another fat free recipe from my kooky imagination

Boiled Red Cabbage and Carrots for Fat Free Red Cabbage, Carrot and Pea SoupThe original plan was to make a soup based solely around red cabbage, a vegetable I want to eat more of. However, I was cooking for two and could only manage to get a small head of the cabbage so decided to add carrots and peas, which are currently in season.

I have read somewhere that in order to retain its original colour, you should add vinegar or lemon juice when cooking red cabbage. I didn’t do this and so it turned blue as you can see in the photo on the right.

Since I wanted to avoid oil or butter, I decided to follow the sweating-the-onions-in-salt method I had adopted in my Fat Free Four ‘C’s Soup. This time round, the only difference was that I let the onions cook for longer till they turned brown.

The onions and peas provide a nice contrasting texture in each spoonful of this creamy soup. Surprisingly, it is very filling.

The following provides two hearty servings.

Ingredients

1 Head small red cabbage

250 Grams Carrots

1 Cup shelled peas

3 – 4 Onions

Vegetable or chicken stock cube

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Salt to taste

Method

  1. First, we need to prepare the onions. Peel, wash and finely slice them, add a teaspoon of salt, cover and set aside for 4-5 hours. By the end of this time, the salt and moisture from onions would have softened them a bit
  2. When you are ready to make the soup, wash and roughly cut the cabbage retaining the core.
  3. Wash and roughly chop the carrots.
  4. Put the cabbage and carrots in a pot along with two cups of water, stock cube and a pinch of salt.
  5. Bring to boil, cover, lower heat and let this simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Drain the vegetables retaining the liquor.
  7. Once the vegetables cool down, puree them in a blender or a food processor.
  8. Now, place the onions along with any moisture in a soup pot or equivalent.
  9. Cover and place this cookware on a very low heat and let the onions sweat in their own moisture.
  10. Let the onions cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. I used a non-stick soup pot so didn’t have to keep checking. Depending on the sort of base of your pot, you may have to keep stirring in between.
  11. Once the onions have browned a bit, wash and add the shelled peas and one cup of water.
  12. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  13. Open the lid and add the pureed vegetable and liquor. Check for thickness, add more water if necessary.
  14. Add freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.
  15. Stir, cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
  16. Serve hot.

This is what my onions looked liked once they were cooked without any oil or butter.

Browning the Onions Without Oil for Fat Free Red Cabbage, Carrot and Pea Soup

Fat Free Four ‘C’s Soup

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firstly, some good news for my kooky readers. Since embarking on the alternate-day-soup regime inspired by my friend Fatima’s soup recipe 12 days back, I have lost 1.5 kgs (3.3 lbs).

Before that, I had hit a frustrating weight loss plateau and was finding it really difficult to lose those last few kilos. So, imagine my pleasant surprise when the weighing scale started moving in the right direction once again!

The best part is that I am really enjoying experimenting with different soup recipes and actually look forward to my soup dinners. I never imagined that they could be so much fun. Soups and broths are my new best friends and likely to become long term companions.

If you are looking to shift a few pounds, you may like to join me in my alternate day soup diet. Now may not be the right time with all the festive partying (although I am doing it in reverse order, lose weight now in anticipation of Christmas and New Year indulgences). But maybe after the New Year, once the celebrations are over?! (Note: I am not a doctor; always seek advice from a medical professional before attempting to lose weight.)

Coming to today’s recipe, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Carrots and Chickpeas form the team of four ‘C’s to provide a totally yummylicious soupy experience.

don’t go by looks – what this soup lacks in appearance, it more than makes up in terms of  taste and full bodied flavour

This cauliflower, cabbage, carrot and chickpea soup (what a mouthful!) does require a bit of preparation beforehand in terms of soaking the chickpeas and “moisturising” the onions. I wanted to add onions for texture and flavour but didn’t want to use any oil so I used salt to moisturise them for a few hours and let them sweat in their own juices. Was pleasantly surprised to see how meltingly soft they turned.

Allspice powder provides the hint of spice and fragrance needed to combat the smell of onions, cabbage and cauliflower.

Ingredients

2-3 Tablespoons dry chickpeas*

2 Cups water

2 Onions

Half head of small cabbage

1 small cauliflower

2 Carrots

A generous pinch of powdered allspice*

One vegetable stock cube

Freshly pounded blackpepper

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash and soak chickpeas about 8 to 10 hours before you want to make the soup.*
  2. Wash and slice the onions. Add some salt, mix, cover and set aside for 3 to 4 hours before you want to make the soup.
  3. Boil the cabbage and cauliflower, puree and set aside. If you have any water remaining after boiling the vegetables, keep it.
  4. When you are ready to make the soup, transfer the onions and any moisture clinging to them into a soup pot (or equivalent).
  5. Now, place the pot on a burner and turn on the heat to low.
  6. Cover and let the onions cook in their own juices for about 10 minutes till they become soft.
  7. While the onions are cooking, wash and coarsely grate the carrots.
  8. Uncover the soup pot and add water (or water from boiled cabbage and cauliflower) along with the chickpeas, stock cube, allspice powder and pounded peppercorns. Turn the heat to high.
  9. Once the water starts boiling, add the grated carrots, cover and let this simmer for about 45 minutes till the chickpeas are cooked.
  10. Lastly, add the pureed cauliflower and cabbage. Check for salt and water and add more if either seem insufficient.
  11. Bring to boil and let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes.
  12. Serve hot.

Note:

  1. You can use canned chickpea if you prefer in which case reduce the cooking time from 45 minutes to about 10 minutes. However, if you have time, I would strongly recommend that you go down the soaking and boiling route. Chickpeas cooked in vegetable stock and allspice are more flavoursome.
  2. If, like me, you forget to soak the chickpeas 8 hours before hand, use this time saving method to speed up the soaking process (it’s what I did this time).
  3. If you don’t have allspice powder, no problem. Use some grated nutmeg and cinnamon powder instead.

Here’s step-by-step pictorial of how I cooked this cauliflower, cabbage, carrot and chickpea soup.

Step 1: Onions moisturised with salt

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup - Step 1 Onions moisturised

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2: Onions sweating in own moisture over stove on low heat

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup - Step 2 Onions sweating in own moisture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3: Add chickpeas and water along with stock cube, allspice powder and pounded peppercorns

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup - Step 3 Add chickpeas and water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4: Add carrots

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup - Step 4 Add carrots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5: Let chickpeas cook

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup - Step 5 Let chickpeas cook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6: Add pureed cabbage and cauliflower

Fat Free Four 'C's Soup - Step 6 Add cabbage cauliflower puree

Cabbage Idada/Cabbage White Dhokla/Savoury Steamed Cabbage Cake

Cabbage Idada

Idada is a specialty from the state of Gujarat in India. Made of rice and skinned, split black lentils (urad dal), the batter is similar to that of idli.

Idada batter before steamingThis is a versatile dish as in you can have it for breakfast, as a snack, for dinner or accompaniment as part of an elaborate Indian meal.

To my mind, there are two main differences between idada and dhokla (another Gujarati dish with similar cooking method). Idada are white in colour (and, so, called white dhokla by some) and there is no tempering involved before serving.

In my family, we tend to ferment the idada batter before cooking although you will find some recipes on the internet which skips this stage.

Here, I would like to share with you my idada recipe with a twist. The addition of cabbage increases this dish’s nutritional value without taking away from the original taste.

The above photo was taken before steaming. Not sure whether you can see the specks of green but this is what the batter looks like with the inclusion of cabbage.

Ingredients

3/4th cup white rice

1/4th cup skinned split black lentil

one cup finely grated white or green cabbage

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black peppercorns

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon oil for greasing

1 tablespoon sesame oil to drizzle

Method

  1. Soak rice and lentils for 8 hours.
  2. Finely grind them in a mixer or a blender with some water. The consistency should be neither too runny, nor too thick.
  3. Now put the batter in a large container, cover and place in a dark corner of your kitchen for 8-10 hours for it to ferment. The reason we are using a large container is to allow some extra room for the batter to rise.
  4. When you are ready to cook the idada, mix the cabbage and salt in the batter.
  5. Grease a cake tin or a thaali, pour the batter in it and sprinkle the coarsely ground black peppercorns all over (see photo above for visual reference).
  6. Put the container with the batter in a steamer (or over a pot which is half filled with water), cover and steam for 30 minutes.
  7. To check whether it is cooked, insert a toothpick or a knife. If it comes out clean, you know that it is done.
  8. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Drizzle some sesame oil over the cooked idada making sure it is evenly spread, cut into diamond shapes and serve.

Idada cooked

This is what my cabbage idada looked like once cooked and oiled. The cabbage has visually disappeared!

serve idada with green or red chutney

Carrot & Cabbage Bajra (Pearl Millet) Idli

Carrot and Cabbage Bajra Idli with Tomato-Ginger Chutney

A couple of months back, I had made the most delicious jowar idli. I am currently out of jowar so decided to replicate the experiment with bajra (pearl millet) instead.  Additionally, I decided to add grated carrots and cabbage to make a nutritiously balanced dinner.

like tomatoes, carrots are more nutritious cooked

Ingredients

1 cup whole bajra (pearl millet)

0.5 cup urad dal (split black gram)

2 tablespoons brown rice

1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi dana)

2 grated carrots

Half a head grated cabbage

Salt to taste

Oil/ghee to grease idli moulds

Method

  1. Wash and soak bajra, urad dal, brown rice and fenugreek seeds for 10-12 hours.
  2. Finely grind them making sure the batter is of pouring consistency.
  3. Transfer to a container, cover and leave in a warm, dark place for 8-10 hours to ferment. (If you are in a cool climate, place container with the batter in a larger empty container which you have just warmed. My personal experience is that this speeds up the fermentation process.)
  4. When ready to cook the idlis, mix the carrots, cabbage and salt to the batter.
  5. Grease idli moulds and pour the batter.
  6. Steam for 25 minutes.
  7. Once cooked, take out the moulds and let them rest for about 5 minutes before removing the idlis.
  8. Serve with tomato and ginger chutney.

This is what the fermented batter looks like:

Fermented Idli Batter

Here are the idlis cooked to perfection:

Idlis Hot off the Steamer

Tip:

If you don’t have idli moulds, you can still make this recipe. Just pour the batter in a cake tin or equivalent and steam. Once cooked, cool and cut in squares before serving.

Cabbage and Carrot Muthia/Cabbage and Carrot Steamed Dumplings

Muthiya in Steamer

Muthia is a type of steamed Indian dumpling made with different flours and vegetables.

It is a popular, versatile and healthy Gujarati dish which can be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, as a side dish or a light snack.

so what kind of muthiya did you cook today

A simple recipe of cabbage and carrot muthia with a slight twist.

Ingredients

1 cup muthiya no lot/muthiya atta/muthiya flour/a combination of wheat and chickpea flours with some semolina

1 cup grated cabbage and carrot

1 spoonful (or according to taste) minced ginger and green chillies

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 tablespoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

Handful of quick cooking oats (optional)

Half cup ragi flour (optional)

Salt to taste

Pinch of bicarbonate of soda (Eno)

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients. Do not add water.
  2. Roll into oval shaped dumplings. Make sure the dumplings are not hard; shape them with a gentle hand.
  3. Put them in a steamer and steam for 30 minutes.
  4. Dish them out, drizzle some oil (preferably sesame) and serve piping hot with some chutney or pickle.

Muthiya with green chutney

oats and ragi flour are optional

you can add any vegetables of your choice (like gourd, spinach, fenugreek)

Tip:

When you place the muthia in a steamer, put something at the base so that the steam doesn’t make them go soggy. I had placed some foil like this.

Muthiya in foil

Purple Cabbage Paratha/Purple Cabbage Flatbread

Purple Cabbage Paratha

Also known as red cabbage, this variety of cabbage is often used in salads, coleslaw or eaten raw.

In the last few months, I have been toying with the idea of experimenting with it and the opportunity came when my friend Meher (she who’d got me the haas avocados) gave me a head of red cabbage to play around with.

so what are you going to do with me

Asked the under-utilised vegetable. And here’s the end result – a twist on the conventional cabbage (gobi) paratha.

Ingredients

Half head finely grated purple cabbage

1 cup wheat flour

Half cup ragi flour (optional)

One large grated carrot (optional)

A spoonful of minced ginger and green chillies (or according to taste)

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon ajwain/carrom seeds

1 teaspoon Haldi/turmeric powder

1-2 teaspoons ghee

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients (except ghee) to make a pliable dough. There is no need for water, the cabbage releases sufficient moisture.
  2. Pinch balls and roll them on a floured surface.
  3. Cook in a pan with flat surface, 10 minutes each side.
  4. Smear with a smidgen of ghee and eat hot.

you can use only wheat flour if you like, ragi flour is optional but increases the nutritional content

carrots are also optional; you can use grated courgette or grated radish or stick to purple cabbage only