Dark Days: Cabbage w/ Coconut & Mustard Seed Curry

Dark Days post #2 and a weeknight quickie: cabbage curry. We had a head of cabbage from the last week of Grandin’s farmers market (Halloween-ish) in the fridge that just needed to be used up–turns out our dead fridge replacement fridge (a nicer used one from an appliance store down the street) has some temperature issues (as in it’s warm at the top and cold at the bottom). So our produce froze. Whoops. The cabbage, thankfully, survived–just lost a few outer leaves–and led to this delicious, simple, and pantry-friendly dish.

The recipe is from The Kitchn (via Vij’s: Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine) and I only tweaked a few things–instead of yogurt, I used a can of coconut milk I had in the pantry and I didn’t use any asafoetida–but the resulting dish was rich and cabbage-y in all the best ways possible. The thing I liked the most was that the cabbage is still crunchy–not coleslaw crunchy, but cooked with a nice bite to it. I’m used to cooking cabbage till it’s floppy, but this curry really highlights the structural integrity of the cabbage, the thing that makes a cabbage such a great storage food–a solid yet leafy green vegetable.

(Disclaimer: for the other Dark Days folks out there, because I’m focusing on local, sustainable vegan food, I’m choosing to not focus on 100% local, but, rather, on emphasizing local food. Thus I do incorporate non-local non-dairy ingredients as well as non-local grains and spices. I know this isn’t the same as others in the challenge, but since I choose to not incorporate dairy, eggs, or meats in my Dark Days posts, it’s a bit more of a handicap…but not too much of one as local and sustainable is completely possible with vegan recipes!)

Cabbage w/ Coconut & Mustard Seed Curry

adapted from Vij’s: Elegant & Inspired Indian Cusine/The Kitchn

1 head green cabbage, in 1 inch x 1 inch x 3 inch pieces
1/2 c canola oil
1 tbsp + 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 15 oz can coconut milk
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp ground coriander

Heat oil in a large frying pan on medium-high for 1 minute. Add mustard seeds and cook until you hear the first popping sound, about 1 minute. Immediately turn off the heat. (The popping sound means that the seeds have cooked and are beginning to burn.)

After 5 minutes, stir in yogurt and turn on the heat to medium, stirring continuously for 1 minute. Add salt, cumin, turmeric and coriander. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the oil glistens. Add cabbage and stir well. Make sure the coconut-spice mixture and cabbage are completely combined.

Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking it for 5 minutes.

9 Responses to “Dark Days: Cabbage w/ Coconut & Mustard Seed Curry”
  1. chow vegan says:

    I’m always surprised how well some veggies survive long days in the fridge, at the bottom of the bin, totally forgotten. Nice save on the cabbage, it looks simple but I can just imagine the yummy flavors of the curry and coconut. :-)

  2. eileen says:

    Ooh, that looks exciting! And I have half a green cabbage in my crisper right now…MUAHAHAHAH etc.

  3. Emily says:

    just made this and it is damn good. I added cubed potatoes with the spices, cooked them for 10 min before adding the cabbage, then I threw in some tofu at the end. Everything but the spices and coconut milk was local — including the tofu (<3 twin oaks near C'ville). Thanks for posting!

    • Jes says:

      Oh man, potatoes & tofu would be amazing in this! I need to find someone who actually carries Twin Oaks down here–supposedly our coop does, but I’ve yet to see it!

  4. WOW Jes – that is visually stunning. And it looks delicious. I love those flavor combinations and always enjoy the crunch of mustard seed in different things.

  5. Monica says:

    I just love cabbage but rarely use it in curries. This looks beautiful – and I love your plating. :)

  6. Renae says:

    Yum! I don’t usually think Indian when I’m working with cabbage, but this sounds awesome.

  7. food4five says:

    I have a couple of cabbages that habe been hanging out in my produce drawer that would do well with a curry treatment. Thanks for the inspiration!

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