Muttaigose Kootu (Cabbage, Bandh Gobi Curry)

This is a popular dish in Thamizhnadu where it is often paired with rasam. It is an extremely tasty curry that is quite easy to prepare. Some years ago, I had an Iyengar friend staying with me. Hari had made a rasam and this cabbage kootu. He went into raptures and I was quite surprised. He then explained to me that this is considered gourmet food in Iyengar households. Since then, I try to pair this dish with a rasam. But I enjoy it with other curries like sambar too. Cabbage is plentifully available throughout the year. Do give this wonderful, mild dish a try. I am sure that it will become part of your regular repertoire.

2 cups cabbage, chopped (bandh gobi, muttaigose)
1/2 cup split yellow lentils (moong dal, paasi parupu), soaked for 30 minutes
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
1 sprig curry leaves
Salt to taste
For The Paste
1/4 cup grated coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds (sabut jeera, jeeragam)
1 tbsp red/brown rice, soaked for about an hour
2 dried red chillies
For The Seasoning
1 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
1/2 tsp split black gram (urad dal, ulutham parupu)
A pinch of asafoetida (hing, perunkayam)
1 dried red chilli
1 sprig curry leaves
Transfer the split yellow lentil to a deep vessel
Add 2 cups of water, cover and cook for 10 minutes (or till it is half cooked)
Add the cabbage, tumeric powder and curry leaves
Mix well, cover and cook for another 10 minutes
Meanwhile, transfer all the ingredients mentioned under “For The Paste” to a blender
Add 1/2 cup water and blend to a smooth paste
Add this to the cabbage and mix well
Add salt and water as necessary (to adjust the consistency)
Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or till all the ingredients are well cooked and blended
Turn off flame and set aside
Heat a wok and add mustard seeds
When they begin to splutter, add the split black lentil
Roast till the lentil turns golden brown
Add curry leaves and the red chilli (broken into two)
Roast for a few seconds more
Add this to the cooked cabbage
Serve hot with steamed red/brown rice and (ideally) rasam

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