Friday, October 28, 2011

Cabbage subzi

Happy Diwali! Wishing everyone a wonderful new year full of good health, happiness, love and success. You may remember the beautiful Diwali dinner from last year, my first in SF, and with another dinner just around the corner, there will be more posts with Indian coming soon.

I was excited to get a head of cabbage in my CSA box last week because in the weeks leading up to Diwali, I have been craving the comfort of homemade Indian food.

Cabbage and potato subzi is one of those dishes that reminds me of my childhood. I never understood why my friends disliked cabbage so much, other than in the form of coleslaw. This dish is has converted many cabbage hatters into cabbage lovers, so give it a try! It is best served with hot roti or rice and even better if you have dal, making a complete vegetarian meal with protein. The subzi comes together fairly quickly so it is perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Just don't use a dutch oven for this dish. The potato will get mushy, almost soup-like and you will end up with something that looks like dal. Huge mistake. Use a skillet or saute pan like in the photo above. Trust me.

Cabbage subzi
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
pinch of hing
1 small onion, diced
2 small potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1/2" dice
1 tomato, diced
1 cabbage, bottom 1/2" inch trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 tsp ground cumin, or more to taste
1 tsp ground coriander, or more to taste
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 lemon juiced, or to taste

Heat a large saute pan over moderately high heat. Add canola oil, once shimmery, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Once the mustard seeds start to pop, add a pinch of hing and onion, stirring to coat, about 5 minutes.

Add potatoes, season with salt and turmeric. Add 1/4 cup of water, stir and cover. Let cook about 8 minutes, on medium low heat, stir occasionally. Remove cover, add tomato, cook for 1 minute. Add cabbage, season with red cayenne pepper and salt.

Stir and cover, cooking for 10-15 minutes until tender. Season with ground cumin and ground coriander. Taste and adjust salt and spices as needed. Add a squeeze or two of lemon juice. Serve hot with roti.


  1. Happy Diwali to you too! I absolutely, undoubtedly must make this dish. Too delicious.

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