Monday, March 23, 2009

Cabbage Poricha Kozhambu (Cabbage in coconut lentil gravy)


Recently, my  uncle S did a very sweet thing and gave our entire family an incredible gift. He uploaded some really old and rare pictures on the internet and sent us all a link to it, enabling  us to get a glimpse into a world and a time that we have never experienced. I looked at these rare pictures, and it seemed to me like discovering a treasure, each picture was so enthralling that I spent a lot of time going over them again and again. 

As I was looking at those sepia toned pictures, I wondered how life would have been in those days. No televisions, no cell phones, no telephones, definitely seemed a lot more simpler. R is absolutely convinced that life in those days was much simpler and much better than our current times. I am a little ambiguous about this, though I realize that life seemed simpler those days and now it seems like a fast paced race, there are some aspects of our times that I cannot imagine living without. For example, telephones and cell phones can be a pain at times,but it keeps me connected with my family, no matter where they are at the moment, at the touch of a button. Only the existence of internet made it possible for my uncle to send us these pictures and for me to communicate with all of you :-) I also sincerely believe that although those days seem simple and uncomplicated, even then, people had their own challenges to overcome, just as we do now. To all of my readers,I would love to hear your opinion on this subject, so do share your thoughts on this, do you think you would have preferred life in "those" days, pre television and pre telephone or are you happy with the modern "conveniences" and cannot live without them.

Now moving on from pictures of an earlier time to a recipe that has been handed down through time, a traditional southern Indian recipe called Cabbage poricha kozhambu which means cabbage in coconut lentil gravy. This simple, humble, wholesome and tasty dish is versatile enough to be used as a curry to go with Indian flat breads (Rotis/Phulkas) or as a dhal and served over rice or if you do not want to prepare anything else, just try this as a hearty soup, this dish will not disappoint. 





Ingredients and method to make cabbage poricha kozhambu
3/4 cup split pigeon peas /tur dhal (pressure cooked in 1 cup of water until soft)
4 cups finely cut cabbage
water as required to cook the cabbage and for the gravy.
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 1/2 tsp of salt or according to taste

Grind together
3 tbsp coconut freshly grated or frozen thawed to room temperature
1/2 tsp whole black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 dry red chillies (or according to taste)
8 large curry leaves (optional)

seasoning
2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp split black gram dhal (udad dhal)
pinch of asafoetida (hing) (optional)

Cook pigeon peas/ tur dhal in 1 cup of water in a pressure cooker until soft and mushy (usually takes me about 3 whistles) and keep it aside.

Place the finely cut cabbage along with turmeric powder and salt in a heavy bottomed water along with sufficient water and let the cabbage cook.

In the meanwhile grind together coconut, whole black pepper, cumin seeds, curry leaves and dry red chillies along with a little water to a fine paste.

When the cabbage is cooked, add the mashed cooked lentils and the ground coconut paste.

Add water to achieve required consistency. Allow this mixture to simmer for a few minutes so that the flavors get blended together.

Adjust salt to taste if required.

Heat oil and add mustard seeds and split black gram to it. When the mustard seeds splutter and the black gram lentil turns reddish, add a pinch of asafoetida (if using) and pour the oil + mustard seeds + black gram lentil mixture on the kozhambu and mix well. 

Serve hot with Indian Flat bread/ Roti or phulka or Plain rice with appalams/ papaddums or chips on the side.

Serves approximately 3-4

Notes 

You can also used the stove top to cook the lentils, just  cook it in a heavy bottomed pan with  sufficient water until soft and mushy.

This traditional South Indian favorite of mine is off to WYF : Cuisine Event being hosted by EC

60 comments :

Sara said...

This looks delicious! I was just eyeing a fresh coconut at the store the other day, I think I'll go back and buy it :)

Lisa said...

Nothing humble about this healthy and flavourful dish!

Happy cook said...

I think life was simpler that time.
But i am happy with the time now.
I remember there was no TV when i was small. I think there wa sonly TV in Kerala/ Kochin when the year Indira gandhi died as i remeber watvhing the programme in black and white TV.
Come one one had to do the laundry the hard way and now back at home there is washing machine etc.....
so i think life is far better with all the luxury now.
Thankgod to phones i can ring my mom anytime i want now.
When i first came here my family rang only when it was real emergency as then to ring aborad one had to pay almost 80 rs for a minute compared to the 5rs or less you pay now.

Asha said...

I agree! Life were simpler and one on one those days. These days, it's all texting and ISMing for kids, they don't want to articulate what they think verbally but they are super fast with their fingers! :D

Kozhambu looks yum, I have a cabbage in the fridge! :)

Uma said...

I know, the life must have been so simple and less hectic in the olden days! But as you said, phones do keep us connected with our near and dear! I feel that all these facilities make our lives comfortable! :)

Cabbage gravy looks gorgeous and rich Usha! Looks so good.

A_and_N said...

Ya, I'd love to go back. Life was simpler, indeed.

I hardly make poricha kuzhambu and I dunno why! :)

Smitha said...

Hey,
We have a similar dish is kerala called erisseri. Quite similar:)
Nice shot

5 Star Foodie said...

Cabbage and coconut sounds like a great combo! Very yummy!

Superchef said...

that will be soo very delicious with some hot rice and papad!! yummy!! nice click too! :)

Trupti said...

never tried this curry but looks delicious..bookmarked it.

Ashwini said...

That looks delicious..With Rice and curry on side..comfort food

kahliyalogue said...

Hi Usha! Thanx so much for raising this interesting topic.I find it a very natural quest especially as we continue to explore our cultures and roots through all these dishes we prepare..I can totally see it both ways,as each era probably has it`s challenges and its own rewards.I personally believe that before things were not only simpler but there was a deeper connection and value to what did exist;for the Earth that bears our fruit;to the process of preparing our food;as for the connections between one another.Although I am ever so grateful for internet to be able to connect so easily with people from far away countries for example,which is amazing,let`s be honest-this communication platform is also created as a result of a void brought onto us by modern life that practically pushed away much of the closer & warmer relationships.It is almost a replacement to old time sisterhood and companianship within tribes or villages that cooked and sewed together..I think that today there are many things that we cant imagine living without only because we`ve grown accustomed.while we enjoy the constant possibility of connection with the help of the cell phone,we seemed to have managed very well before it ever existed.. :)

As for this recipe,it looks divine,I am constantly searching for additional ways to prepare lentils and I would love to try this one. It makes me think after having said what I have,that this is definitely one of the biggest rewards of our time,to be able to access so many foreign cultures,learning so much more from many more people! thanx,Mia

Gita's Kitchen said...

The poricha kuzambu looks delicous, I have try your recipe soon :)

Soma said...

Great with some just cooked rice!

I loved it the way it was when i was a kid.. feels like the right balance.. not too much not too less... these days esp. when i see the kids getting so much involved in the electronics i feel sad that they are missing out on the lovely childhood & touch with nature. i use my gadgets only when i need to . no craze for anything.. sam ewith my hubby.. no fancy cell phones... no fancy nothing.

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

delicious koootu... love the way pepper is floating on top...looks nice usha. oh you call this kozhambu? ok....

and regarding reducing the pic size, u need photoshop. do u have it?

Indhu said...

yummmy Usha... my mother makes it with all the vegetables that are about to go bad... it tastes great with hot rice and appalam :)

aquadaze said...

We used to go on treks often, there would be no creature comforts and it was all great because it was for a short while. It is always nice, it seems to reminsce about "those days" and say how nice they were and how life was simpler. But I am happy with the times now - i like the fact that I can pick up the phone and speak to anyone in any corner of the world anytime. I like the fact that I am connecting thru' the net with people I would never have otherwise known existed. I am not a slave to gadgets, but very very grateful that I have them in my life!

Sorry for the rather long one :)

By the way, cabbage in coconut lentil gravy looks yum! MIL makes something similar with pumpkin.

Deepa Hari said...

Curry looks great Usha...i would love to try it.

Yeah, life was simple those days...but still i like it now better...can't imagine without tv, internet, phones etc....we r used to all these comforts.

Cham said...

Human beeing tends to compare a lot, when technol is improving, it should go forward. As we can never do a rewind button in ur life, I feel the same for techno too.
If u take the movie improvement: from black white, techni color, now DTS and what else... they keep moving...
I am sure when my kid will grow up, i don't know what great techno wave will be there.
After all past or present, simpler or complicated it all depend of each individual point of view how we face everything!

Ann said...

A real yummy curry...and the read made me think too...thats a great experience Usha..
Colorful yummy click..

Arch said...

Lovely looking kulambu..
I think life was way better then...we connected with people, now we are only connected to gadgets..my husband is a gadget freak and cant imagine life without his mobile, laptop and tv..i liked the earlier days, we spoke much more to humans then :)

rekhas kitchen said...

looks so yum and nice color usha I too make almost same way

Anonymous said...

thanks to drop by my blog.........i liked your's too as it is about healthy eating, this dish is made in a different way in north india....this one too looks yum.....i liked your other recipes too(could't see all of them....may be next time)....please be around.

jayanthi said...

hi usha,
been going thru ur recipes regularly. keep up the good work! reg. cabbage kootu-- u may try another way. use half a teaspoon of sambar powder while boing the cabbage. grind 2 green chillies, jeera, coconut, 2 -3 peppercorns and add to the cabbage. garnish as usual. this also turns out great!

Shama Nagarajan said...

yummy recipe dear

Keerthana said...

I think life was simpler and better too before. well, maybe i am little old fashioned. but, i think too much modernization somehow leads to intrusion of privacy too. i would prefer a simpler world anyday!

Priya said...

Fabulous Kootu Usha..looks amazing...i loved my life before when i was kid which was so simple n less mechanial, when compared today...wish i go back to those days..

Girl Japan said...

Oh Usha..coconut is one of my favorites.... do you use the canned?

Chitra said...

love this kootu,will try it out soon and let u know:)

Curry Leaf said...

I think even older days had they their own set of problems.I agree with you,thgh I curse the phone ringing sometimes,its defnitely helpful and brings family closer.
The gravy looks lovely.Cabbage coconut combo is always welcome.

Sharmila said...

The olden days were indeed golden days. Love the dal Usha. :-)

Purva Desai said...

This is delicious and different gravy

indosungod said...

This dal looks so good, down home.
I prefer the good old days. I am not sure I can give up the creature comforts now but back then we did not know about it and I am sure nobody missed it either.

Ramya Bala said...

kootu looks yummy Usha :)

ARUNA said...

hey what u said is correct Usha, life was so simpler then.....now it looks so complicated and mechanical, but i guess v learnt to live with it. And this recipe is awesome yaar,totally new to me.. i have a cabbage and am going to try it for lunch!

AnuSriram said...

Thats delicious! Lovely kootu recipe usha!

miss v said...

beautiful colour. and looks pretty simple to make.

Valarmathi said...

I'd love to go back.

Cabbage kulambu looks delicious.

Varsha Vipins said...

I go with that..Life was just simple n good now..Everyone n everything had values n people enjoyed n were satisfied with the so-called-limited luxuries they had n most importantly kids never missed anything..The touch of earth,feel of grass n mud,smell of soil,enjoying the love n protection of elders,their reading habits...Now its like total complex world..n as many said here,we ARE really missing out things,n the conveniences are just making us craving for more n we never really get to appreciate things we have now..!!

The curry looks great..I never knew this combo could be done with cabbage as well..:)

Anu said...

Kootu looks yummy Usha. It has been days since i prepared this for lunch! Your snap tempts me to try it out :)

Me and my sis often discuss abt this topic. Though all the inventions are boon to us, yet we miss the simple life that we enjoyed during our school days!

DEESHA said...

thatz totally awesome to get a peek into our childhood & earlier times. I too cherish such memories.
This dish is new to me, looks very nice though

Preety said...

this is such a unique combo..love the pic

Laavanya said...

I feel i'm quite dependent on some of the luxuries - the instant answers you get on the internet for anything you may want to know more abt/ research... the convenience of being in touch anytime anywhere with cell phones etc. But sometimes they do feel rather intrusive and like information overload so i guess a balance is impt.

I recently made poricha kootu with avarakkai - cabbage must work great too.

Malar Gandhi said...

Love poricha kuzhambu, looks nice and inviting.

Priya Sriram said...

Regarding the topic, I would like to prefer the simple life we had earlier! :)

Curry looks delicious dear! Wonderful entry! :)

Shri said...

Hey,this is my favorite.Your looks just perfect and delicious.

Hema said...

I never made poricha kuzhambu, looks yummy!

sriharivatsan said...

We used to call this as Poricha Kootu..With hot steamed rice and ghee, OMG, i cant imagine how much I intake...Love the color...Looks yummy!!

Meenal Mehta said...

I know life in the past was simpler but we've got to move on , I dont know if i could go back although a lot of times i admit, I feel like going back in time

delicious looking recipe
-Meenal

Kumudha said...

Lovely post!

I'm eager to try flax chutney powder...

Chandani said...

very new recipe for me, looks yummy!!
btw, awards waiting for you on my blog :)

Food Fanatic said...

aww so authentic so real!

Gayathri said...

yummy cabbage recipe

Vrinda said...

I always make cabbage in dry form,never made curry with it..I am gonna try this today itself,thanx for sharing Usha

Vishali said...

wow loved the cabbage with coconut ...never tried with coco...:)...looks delicious ...

EC said...

Kuzhambu looks yumm..Agree that though phone can be a pain at times, it is the only thing that helps us when we are very homesick and also in emergencies..thanks for the entry

Dreamhomeforu said...

Lovely click.

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Dazy said...

Can I seriously come over for lunch soon? ...... your recipe sounds so yummy.....

LISA said...

This made my day. I made it with your Tamarind Flavored Spinach, as you suggested and served it with some instant quinoa idli. The subtle sweetness of the cabbage picks up the sweetness of the coconut and the sour of the cabbage pairs with the toor dal, which has a kind of sour/spicy smell and taste.

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