Meera Sodha’s vegan potato and cabbage curry recipe

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Today’s recipe is an ancient dish that my ancestors cooked over wooden fires in their village on the Kathiawar peninsula in Gujarat, western India. It’s also something I ate regularly when I got home from school in Lincolnshire, while sitting in front of the telly and watching Neighbours, as well as something I wanted to eat almost every day when I was pregnant. It might be simple and cheap, but it’s also delicious and wholesome, and deserves to continue for many more generations.

Gujarati potato and cabbage curry

My mother uses waxy potatoes such as charlotte or anya in this, because they hold their shape when cooked; I prefer crumbly, fudgy spuds such as maris pipers, which merge into the sauce. Boost the table offering with a dal or spinach curry.

Prep 10 min
Cook 30 min
Serves 4

800g maris piper potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
Salt and black pepper
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 pinch fenugreek seeds
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
200g tinned plum tomatoes with their juice (ie, half a tin)
500g white cabbage (ie, half a large one), cored and shredded
1 tsp ground coriander
⅓ tsp turmeric
1 ½ tsp ground red chilli powder
250ml lukewarm water

To serve
Chapatis
Non-dairy yoghurt
Fresh coriander

Put the potatoes in a pan, cover with cold water, add a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, then drain and leave to steam.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil over a medium flame in a large frying pan for which you have a lid. Once it’s very hot, add the fenugreek, mustard and cumin seeds and, when they start to crackle, stir in the onion and fry for six minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, cook for two minutes, then add the tomatoes, tipping them in with one hand and crushing them with the other as they hit the pan. Cook until the tomatoes become concentrated and paste-like and the oil floats to the top – about eight to 10 minutes.

Turn up the heat, add the cabbage and stir until well coated in the tomato mixture, then cover the pan and leave to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring infrequently (every couple of minutes, say), so the cabbage caramelises a little while it softens.

When the cabbage is soft, fold in the potatoes, the ground spices and a teaspoon and a half of salt, and stir gently, so the potatoes don’t break up too much. Add the lukewarm water bit by bit, stirring after each addition, and leave to cook down for five minutes, until the liquid thickens into a sauce. Check and adjust the seasoning, then take off the heat.

Serve generous helpings of the curry with warm chapatis (heat according to the packet instructions) , a large spoonful of non-dairy yoghurt and a couple of sprigs of fresh coriander.

(source from the guardian)


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