I have been wanting to buy Madhur Jaffrey’s “Vegetarian India” for a long time. Although I do not keep to a vegetarian diet, and although I do love chicken tikka masala, butter chicken, goat vindaloo, lamb biryani and more, some of my favorite dishes every time I go out for Indian food are the dals, chana masala and other vegetarian dishes. I finally ordered Jaffrey’s cookbook a couple weeks ago and immediately bookmarked nearly every page. The first two recipes I made last weekend were simple and delicious, but made me feel accomplished nonetheless.
Similar to British pasties, these patties are made with spicy cabbage and onion. They make a delicious snack served with chutney, or you could also serve with salad to make a lunch. This recipe is easily halved if you wish.
Cabbage and Onion Patties
makes 8 large patties
1 medium green cabbage (about 2lbs)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon whole brown mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
2 onions (about 10oz in all) peeled and cut into fine half rings
2 teaspoons peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
1 fresh hot green chile, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon hot curry powder*
2 Tablespoons tomato puree
2 teaspoons salt
flour, for dusting
2 frozen puff pastry sheets
1) discard the outer leaves of the cabbage, quarter what remains, and remove the hard inner core. Now shred the cabbage as you would for coleslaw – by hand, or by using a mandolin or a food processor.
2) Put 2 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. When hot, throw in the mustard seeds. As soon as they start to pop, a matter of seconds, add the cumin and fennel seeds. Two seconds later add the cabbage and onions. Stir and fry for 1-2 minutes, then cover and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. The cabbage should wilt.
3) Add the ginger, green chiles, curry powder, tomato puree, and salt. Stir and fry for 15-20 minutes or until cabbage has browned a bit and is dry. Set aside to cool.
4) Preheat the oven to 425F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
5) Flour your work surface, roll out each piece of pastry so you have a sheet that is 12 inches square and cut each sheet into 4 squares so you have 8 total squares. Prick each with the tines of a fork. Divide the cabbage into 8 equal parts.
6) Take a square of pastry and put one part of the cabbage mixture along the fold line between two diagonal points and spread it evenly along half of the square, staying 3/4 inch away from the edges. Dip a finger in water and dab it generously on these 2 edges. Fold the pastry in a triangle and seal the edges by pressing down firmly with the balls of your fingers. Repeat for the rest of the patties.
7) Put the patties on the prepared baking sheets and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 375F and cook for another 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
*curry is not a spice, but a spice mixture. Curry mixtures bought in the store can vary wildly. If you have a trusted spice store you may find a good mixture, or you can try mixing up a batch of the following spices at home to use in cooking:
1 Tbsp coriander
1 Tbsp cumin
1.5 tsp mustard powder
2 Tbsp cinnamon
4 Tbsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne
I’ve always wondered what was in the green chutney at Indian restaurants – now that I know how easy it is to make, I may start keeping this around my home more often! After using this with the patties, I topped every food I could think of with it and even spread it on bread with some cheese. Everything tasted better for a few days while I had this around!
1 good-sized bunch of fresh cilantro
1 Tablespoon lime juice
2-3 fresh hot green chiles, slices into fine rings
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 Tablespoon plain yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
1) Cut off the leaf-free stalks of the cilantro. Wash and drain the remaining stalks and leaves. You should have about 1.5 well packed cups. Chop well.
2) Put the lime juice in your blender first, followed by the chiles, then the ginger, yogurt, and 4 Tablespoons water. Blend, then add the chopped cilantro. Blend to a smooth paste, pushing down the mixture as needed. Pour the mixture into a small bowl, mix in the salt, and adjust seasonings as desired.