To be honest I’m a bit nervous to be posting this recipe; when it comes to Indian food, I know I enjoy it, but I’m very far from an expert on it. I didn’t grow up with curries, I’ve never been to India, and I can probably count the number of different Indian restaurants I’ve ever been to on one hand. Two hands if you start counting restaurants from neighbouring countries with similar cuisines such as Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Of course, I’ve been to said restaurants many times and have greatly enjoyed trying a variety of dishes (as in, not ordering butter chicken every. single. time. as some people seem to). I’ve become a bit more confident in recent months after eating with my boyfriend’s family, who seem to have a wonderful grasp of various Indian dishes—partly because one side comes from Fiji and grew up on Indonesian/Indian dishes. I also spent six months in a workplace comprised of mostly Indians or Nepalese, and I loved spying on their homemade dishes at lunch time.
So. For a small-town Canadian girl who thought it a feat to start eating medium salsa, I think I’ve done myself proud. I came to this recipe mostly in an effort to use up some veggies in my fridge, and keep our fridge well-stocked with leftovers for lunches. This bhaaji is a light but tasty meal, and fairly versatile—add an extra green chili if you like some spice, add some sliced chicken breast for some more protein, or serve with rice for a complete protein and a meal that’s vegan/vegetarian and gluten free. Here goes!
Cauliflower & Cabbage Bhaaji
Cooking time: About an hour
- 1 onion, chopped into long slices
- 1 large potato, peeled and cut into about 1 cm cubes
- 1/8 each of a cauliflower and cabbage head, chopped
- 1-2 green chilies, deseeded and chopped finely
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tin chickpeas
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp each tumeric, mustard powder, garam masala
- 1 bay leaf, 1 cinnamon stick
Fry the onion and garlic with a bit of olive oil in large pot, until softened. Add spices (excluding bay leaf and cinnamon stick). Then add the cabbage and cauliflower, green chili(es), stock, and water. Stir and now add the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Keep at a very low simmer for about 20 minutes. Season with a bit of salt and pepper—not too much salt, since stock generally has a lot of salt in it already.
Drain your tin of chickpeas and fry them in about 1 tbsp sesame oil until they turn a bit crispy and golden. Add to the vegetable mixture after it has been simmering for about 20 minutes. Keep on low heat for another 20-3o minutes, until vegetables are fully softened and flavours have combined. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and some heated tortillas or naan bread, or rice. As with all curries, they’re almost always better the next day, so be sure to save some for your lunch!