This quick and easy slaw makes a great side to round out a meal. I served it this past Sunday along side aloo gobi, a spicy, lemony dal and Basmati rice. But, it would also be great on top of a veggie burger or as a crunchy side to your favorite wrap or sandwich.
Unlike a typical coleslaw, this Gujarati version is not drenched in a heavy dressing and has just a hint of spice. The slaw is only lightly cooked, leaving the vegetables with a nice crunch. Growing up, my mom always made it with green cabbage, but I just couldn’t resist this beautiful purple cabbage at the market. I’d definitely give the green cabbage version a try (my family actually prefers that one!). I liked this version equally and loved the punch of color.
For a recipe as simple as this, it’s important to have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go because it comes together in minutes. I find this dish to be very sensitive to salt. Depending on how small or big your cabbage is, you may need to adjust the level of salt. Of course, I recommend you start with the smaller range of salt and add seasoning to taste. This dish can be eaten warm but it’s equally good at room temperature. In fact, one of the beautiful things about this slaw is that you can make it ahead of time and just leave it at room temperature until you are ready to eat.
Asafoetida is a bit of an unusual spice and you may not have heard of it before. If you don’t have it, I wouldn’t let it keep you from making this dish. But, if you have an Indian grocery store within a reasonable distance, I think it’s worth the effort to add it to your spice rack. It has a very pungent aroma, and the smallest pinch is all that is needed. I’m not even sure you could pick out the individual flavor in the dish, but it seems to add a little something special to the slaw. It’s used in many Indian dishes as a flavor enhancer and is said to add notes of onion/garlic flavor to the dish. Traditionally, it’s felt to aid in digestion and even serve as an antidote to flatulence. Which, I suppose, is good thing if you plan on eating half a head of cabbage:)
- 1 teaspoon of oil
- 1 teaspoon of black mustard seeds
- small pinch of asafoetida
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 thin green chili (depending on how spicy the chili is and how much heat you want!), sliced
- small to medium head of cabbage (purple or green), finely shredded
- red bell pepper, julienned
- 1 cup of shredded carrots
- hefty handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- In a large skillet and over medium heat, gently warm the oil.
- Add the mustard seeds and warm until they begin to sizzle. Add the green chili, asafoetida, turmeric, cumin, and coriander. Warm until the spices become fragrant (only a minute or two).
- Add the vegetables along with the salt. Gently toss until the vegetables are coated in the spices, being careful not to overcook. The vegetables should be slightly wilted but remain crunchy.
- Add half the cilantro to the slaw and fold in.
- To serve, garnish with the remaining cilantro.
I’ve started back to work over the last few months and it’s been such a gift. I didn’t realize how much I missed being in an office environment, and seeing patients again has been rewarding. The days are long, and the juggling of work, family and all the rest of it has been challenging for sure. Something I’m working on is to use my weekends for more serious meal planning so that dinner can come together easily on busy work days. I find that prepping and chopping vegetables ahead of time, anticipating leftovers, and relying on my freezer have been an enormous help. I’m still getting the hang of things and hope to share many more quick and delicious recipes that can come together in a snap.