Patta Gobi, Gobhi
Cabbage is one of the most highly rated leafy vegetable and a marvelous food item. It is a vegetable round in shape, consisting of layers of thick leaves that grow around each other from the stem. There are different varieties of cabbage to choose these days, from round to conical in shape, with flat or curly, tight or loose leaves in green, white, red, and purple colors. The most common is the round, light green or white head variety. Cabbage is available in different varieties, as below:
Cube Cabbage by cutting them into uniform strips. Line up the strips with your non-working hand and cut them into square pieces. As per the recipie, chop them into particular size of the cubes, (for example, "cut into ½-inch cubes").
Chop Cabbage by cutting them in small pieces approximately ¼ inch in diameter, although the chopped food doesn't need to be exactly the same size. If the recipe calls for the ingredients to be "coarsely chopped," make the pieces slightly larger. In the same way you can cut red cabbage and white cabbage. You can take individual leaves and can chop or shred them as per recipe requirements.
Cut the cabbage into half and rub it against a grater. Shreds will range in size according to size of the holes in the grater. Use grater as required - thin or thick shreds.
A cabbage with a firm, dense head with smooth leaves. Its outer leaves vary from pale green to dark green and the inner leaves are white to pale green. It has a mild flavor and crisp texture. This is one of the most commonly found cabbages.
To parboil, boil a large pot of water, cut off the bottom of the cabbage so you can have individual leaves or it is easy to pull individual leaves off the cabbage itself. Plunge in boiling water (watch your hands) and then let the leaves sit for a minute and pull out or continue to roll the cabbage and pull off the topmost leaves as they have sat in the boiling water for a minute. Continually roll the cabbage until you have enough cabbage leaves.
Place the cabbage on a chopping board and with a large sharp knife cut in half through the root. Place each cabbage/lettuce half cut-side down and slice in half through the root. You can shred the cabbage thickly or thinly, as the recipe calls for.
How to Select
Choose cabbage heads that are firm and dense with shiny, crisp, colorful leaves free of cracks, bruises and blemishes. Severe damage to the outer leaves is suggestive of worm damage or decay that may reside in the inner core as well. There should be only a few outer loose leaves attached to the stem. If not, it may be an indication of undesirable texture and taste.
· Cabbage is very popularly used in Salad dressings, because of its taste and satiety value. Cabbage can be eaten raw or cooked. It can be boiled, steamed, braised, sautéed, stir-fried, and microwaved. It should be cooked until just tender. Overcooking will result in limp, pasty cabbage and produce a very unpleasant smell.
· Use shredded raw cabbage as a garnish for sandwiches and grated cabbage in salads, soups and sandwich fillings.
· Lightly sauted cabbage along with grated apples mixed into curds makes an interesting raita.
· Make nutritious muthias by mixing grated cabbage mixed with jowar flour, spices and steaming these rolls.
· Fortify Parathas by stuffing them with a mix of sauted carrots and cabbage.
· Add grated cabbage to dosa / adai batter to make it more filling and nutritious.
· Steam the outer large leaves of a cabbage and use them to roll up vegetables or rice. This makes a healthy version of spring rolls.
· Cabbage tastes best when steamed, coated with melted butter, toasted nuts, minced onion & celery. Grated Cabbage in combination with Mint leaves pounded added to Parathas gives a refreshing taste.
· Cabbage leaves are a great way to inspire leftovers. Spoon some leftovers such as rice salad or a vegetable mixture onto the center of a cabbage leaf and roll into a neat little package. Bake in medium heat oven until hot. Enjoy your easy and healthy version of stuffed cabbage.
How to Store
Keeping cabbage cold will keep it fresh and help it retain its vitamin C content. Put the whole head in a plastic bag in the crisper of your refrigerator. Green cabbage will keep this way for about 2 weeks. If you need to store a partial head of cabbage, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Since the vitamin C content of cabbage starts to quickly degrade once it has been cut, you should use the remainder within a couple of days. But remember, the older it gets, the stronger the flavor and odour will be.
· As inexpensive as cabbage is, it is one of the richest when it comes to protective vitamins.
· Hailed as a cancer inhibitor, particularly colon cancer.
· Cabbage also stimulates the immune system, kills harmful bacteria, soothes ulcers, and improves circulation.
· The outer leaves are a good source of vitamin E, making it good for the complexion. Also rich in vitamin C (raw white cabbage contains as much vitamin C as lemon juice) and sulphur, the cabbage is a health food store in a compact edible package.
· It has wonderful cleansing properties. Raw cabbage cleans the waste from the stomach and upper bowels which improves digestion and reduces constipation.