Unique spices give such flavour to Indian dishes that meat is never missed. Turn up the heat this Meatless Monday with this tasty recipe!
Although cuisine varies greatly from region to region, Indian food can almost always be described as having a depth of flavour that can only be achieved with layers of carefully combined herbs and spices. It is the spices that are the star of each dish, providing just enough heat to warm the soul (or light the mouth on fire!).
It’s the spices, too, that give such flavour and excitement to dishes that meat is never missed. And although Indian cuisine is not always meat-free, it’s deeply rooted in vegetarianism. Hinduism, the most commonly practised religion in India, greatly values a vegetarian diet, and as such about one-third of those living in India eat a vegetarian diet, according to surveys. Include those who eat eggs and the number rises to 40 percent.
The following recipe is completely meat-free, yet lacks nothing in terms of flavour and punch. It comes from Lisa Marie Bhattacharya’s article “Culinary Spices for Life,” which features several traditional meat-free Indian recipes. This Meatless Monday, cook up this rich and spicy Indian dish—it’ll make you want to go meatless every day!
Cabbage and Potato Curry
2 new potatoes, scrubbed (not peeled) and cubed
1/4 cup (60 mL) mustard oil
3 cups (750 mL) cabbage, chopped
Unrefined salt, to taste
1 Tbsp (15 mL) turmeric paste*
1 1/4 to 2 tsp (6 to 10 mL) chili paste*
1 Tbsp (15 mL) cumin paste*
1 Tbsp (15 mL) coriander paste*
1 cup (250 mL) tomatoes, diced (optional)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) ghee (clarified butter), unsalted butter, or virgin coconut oil
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp (15 mL) garam masala spice mix
*1 Tbsp (15 mL) dry spice mixed with 2 Tbsp (30 mL) water creates approximately 2 Tbsp (30 mL) paste.
Fry potatoes in mustard oil over medium heat until lightly browned, being careful not to scorch them. Remove potatoes and set aside.
Add cabbage to remaining oil, sprinkle with salt, and cover for 5 minutes.
Remove cover and add spice pastes. Fry over low to medium heat, stirring, until spices are well blended with cabbage.
Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup (60 to 125 mL) water. Stir, and add potatoes as well as tomatoes (if using). Simmer over medium heat until potatoes are cooked and there is practically no “gravy” in pan.
In separate frying pan heat ghee, butter, or coconut oil, and add bay leaves and garam masala. Fry for 2 minutes and pour over cabbage.
Remove from heat. Accompany with brown rice.
Each serving contains: 182 calories; 2 g protein; 14 g total fat (5 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 14 g carbohydrates; 3 g fibre; 212 mg sodium