Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Gujerati-Style Cabbage With Carrots Review

3 stars (on a 5 star scale)
p. 141

An unexciting, though quickly cooked, dish of carrots and cabbage. It might work as a side dish for something, but wouldn't be a great one. The vegetables, when fresh off the stove, were oily in texture, despite me using less oil than the recipe recommended. (I used only enough to cover the bottom of the pan, not the whole four tablespoons.) The leftovers happily weren't oily but they still weren't particularly appealing. I didn't taste much lemon or cilantro. Worried that my lack of tasting these flavors was what was marring the dish, I added more lemon to one plate. It definitely made the lemon more prominent but didn't help the dish at all.

Some notes on the ingredients:
  • Because I don't have a grater, I peeled the carrots, then chopped the peels.
  • The recipe suggests using half or one green chili. I used one whole serrano but removed most of the seeds first.
  • For the dried red chili, I used an arbol because that's what I had at hand.
  • I skipped the optional asafetida because I didn't have any.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Red Split Lentils with Cabbage Review

4.5 stars (on a 5 star scale)
p. 166

A very good, nice, mellow combination of lentils, onions, tomatoes, and cabbage. I think all the spices--garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, green chilies--contributed to the flavor. I especially liked the crunch of the onions. Although I usually don't like dals, especially stewy ones, I definitely liked this dish. And, for those like me who prefer less soupy dishes, rest assured that the leftovers are less liquidy. (In fact, despite the stewy nature of the freshly made dish, I'd still give it 4.5 stars on taste alone.)

Some notes on the ingredients:
  • I estimated the amount of cabbage to use. The recipe calls for 225 grams. The large head I bought weighed 1200 grams. I used a fraction of it, probably 300-400 grams.
  • I cut the oil in half to apparently no ill effect.
  • The recipe suggests using one to two green chilies. I used two, but removed most of the seeds to tone them down.
  • I used two small tomatoes, not one medium tomato.
  • I used a quarter of a teaspoon of ground ginger instead of half a teaspoon freshly grated ginger.
Regarding the preparation, the recipe says to "stir and fry the cabbage mixture for about 10 minutes until it begins to brown and turn slightly crisp." The mixture didn't turn brown or crisp (nor would I expect cabbage to brown and crisp unless cooked and burnt at very high heat--I'd normally expect the cabbage to soften).