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Hearty Blue Mountain Cabbage & Tomato Stew


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  • Hearty Blue Mountain Cabbage & Tomato Stew

    Following on from the 'can you grow curry leaves' thread, this is the recipe that prompted the question. Its from Julie Sahni 'Classic Indian Vegetarian Cooking' - a really good book full of authentic recipes that's very easy (step-by-step) to follow.

    We made this with a savoy green cabbage, but I think it would be good with any 'greens'.

    Muttakos Sambaar

    for 6-8 persons

    175g yellow split lentils (toovar dal) or red lentils (masar dal)
    700ml water
    375g ripe tomatoes, quartered
    8-12 curry (kari) leaves
    4 tbsp light vegetable oil
    1/4 tsp turmeric
    1&1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
    1/3 tsp fenugreek seeds (optional)
    1 tbsp sambaar powder or curry powder (master recipe)
    1 medium onion, cut into 2.5cm pieces
    750g cabbage (stem & tough leaves removed), chopped into 2.5cm pieces
    2 tsp coarse salt (or to taste)
    3-4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
    3 tbsp usli ghee or unsalted butter (optional)

    1. Pick clean the lentils, then put them in a bowl and wash thoroughly in several changes of water. Put the lentils in a large pan, add the 700ml water and the turmeric, and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook, partially covered, for 30 minutes or until lentils are fully cooked.

    2. Add the tomatoes and curry leaves, mix well and turn off the heat. Take out about half the tomato-lentil mixture and process in a food processor or blender until finely pureed. Return it to the pan.

    3. Measure out the spices and place them right next to the stove in seperate piles. Heat the oil in a large pan over a high heat. When the oil is very hot, add the mustard seeds. Keep a lid handy, as the seeds may fly all over. As the seeds are spattering, add the fenugreek. When the fenugreek turns dark brown add the sambaar or curry powder, let sizzle for a second or two and immediately add the onion and cabbage. Stir well and quickly for 2 seconds. Cook the vegatables uncovered for 4-5 minutes. Turn down the heat a little if they begin to brown too much or too rapidly.

    4. Add the lentil mixture, mix thoroughly, and bring to the boil. Cook the stew over a medium heat, covered, for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are done but still crisp. Stir in the salt to taste and a little chopped coriander.

    Serve in a soup tureen or individual bowls, garnished with chopped coriander. If desired pour a teaspoon or two of ghee on top.

    Often served as a light lunch in large bowls accompanied by a piece of bread or a little rice.

    Edit to add Curry Powder Master and Sambaar powder, recipes.

    Curry Powder Master Recipe

    Makes about 4oz/125g

    2oz/60g coriander seeds
    15 dry red chili pods (quantity is too taste, or may be left out entirely)
    1&1/2 tsp cumin seeds
    1&1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
    1&1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
    1&1/2 tsp black peppercorns
    15-20 curry leaves, dried or fresh (optional)
    3 tbsp turmeric powder

    1. Mix coriander, chili pods, cumin, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and peppercorns in a blender or spice mill and grind to a fine powder in several batches. Pour into a bowl and combine well.

    2. If you are using fresh curry leaves dry them briefly (about 4-5 minutes) in an ungreased frying pan over low heat. Grind them in a blender and add them to the spice powder in the bowl.

    3. Stir in the turmeric.

    4. Transfer the curry powder to an airtight jar, cover tightly, and store in a cool place.

    Sambaar Powder

    This is the classic spice blend used by the southern Brahmins primarily to flavour lentil stews, spicy broths and braised dishes. In some families no other curry powder blend is ever prepared. Sambaar powder has a spicy-nutty, intriguing flavour because of the roasted beans, which also help thicken sauces giving them a velvety, rich texture.

    Makes about 4oz/125g

    2oz/60g coriander seeds
    12-14 dry red chili pods
    1&1/2 tsp cumin seeds
    1&1/2 tsp black peppercorns
    1&1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
    1&1/2 tsp white split gram beans (urad dal)
    1&1/2 tsp yellow mung beans (moong DAL)
    1&1/2 tsp yellow split peas (channa dal)
    2 tsp turmeric

    1. Put coriander seeds, chili pods, cumin seeds, black peppercorns and fenugreek seeds in a large frying pan and place on a medium-high heat. Roast the spices, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 4-6 minutes, until they lose any excess moisture and start to release their aroma. Transfer the spices to a bowl. Cool completely.

    2. Put all the pulses in the same frying pan and roast over a medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until they are barely coloured (6-8 minutes). Remove them to the same bowl. Cool completely.

    3. Add the turmeric to the same hot frying pan, do not turn on the heat, and stir for a minute or two until it loses its raw aroma. Transfer the turmeric to another bowl. Set aside.

    4. Grind the completely cooled spices and pulses to a fine powder. Add the cooled turmeric to this mixture. Mix well and store in airtight container in cool, dry place.

    Although it says both powders store for 3-6 months we found some sambaar powder in a spice jar that we calculated had been made over 10 years ago! (tasted okay, bit mild!)
    Last edited by smallblueplanet; 24-01-2008, 01:33 PM.
    To see a world in a grain of sand
    And a heaven in a wild flower

  • #2
    My mouth's watering just from reading the recipe . Only ingredients I haven't got is the curry leaves.
    Food for Free


    • #3
      Check out the thread on the Spices forum - we're all waiting on momols itty-bitty tree to set seeds! Lol!
      To see a world in a grain of sand
      And a heaven in a wild flower


      • #4

        Thanks for the recipe...will save the berries (of curry leaves) just give the plant some time....
        Will write down your recipe too, sounds yummy...

        I grow, I pick, I eat ...


        • #5
          Have added recipes for curry powder master recipe and sambaar powder recipe to the first post.
          To see a world in a grain of sand
          And a heaven in a wild flower


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