There are nights when I crave cabbage. These are frequently those nights when I'm home late from work, and already have some beans cooked up in the fridge, and some rice. I'm usually happy with just daal and rice, but on those occasions that I want a bit of vegetable to go with it, Cabbage Curry does the job admirably well.
This is the version I make when I'm in a hurry, and want something done cheap. The same recipe works for those bags of pre-washed spinach, kale, or collard greens, but I use cabbage, because I can find it really cheap most of the time. Also, I find that cabbage doesn't shrink down like spinach, which is why I like to use it when I want something cheap.
½ head cabbage, shredded (or 1-lb bag of shredded cabbage & carrots)
2 TB canola, peanut, or vegetable oil
½ tsp black mustard seed
½ tsp cumin seed
1 tsp urad daal
2 pinches asafoetida (optional)
1/3 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
In a large frying pan or wok, heat the oil over high heat. Add the black mustard seeds, and allow them to pop. Add the cumin seed and urad daal. When the cumin seeds pop as well, add the asafoetida, and stir once. Add the sliced cabbage, and the turmeric. Vigorously stir the cabbage to combine it with the spices and the fat. When all the cabbage has turned a beautiful shade of yellow, let the cabbage sit for a minute or two. Stir again, and let it set for another minute. You’ll notice the cabbage begin to caramelise.
The trick is to not crowd the pan. Add the salt at the last minute, and taste for seasoning. You may want to add some red chile powder (cayenne pepper works great here). If you do, please turn off the heat before adding the heat of the chiles. Why? Because the smoke bomb of pain and burning that will happen if you try to add ground red chiles to a hot pan will burn your insides.