When I go blog hopping for recipes, I always try to find something that I have never cooked before; exceptions are recipes that use unusual ingredients or techniques. The week Nupur announced Blog Bites #1 : Cookers challenge, PJ posted a recipe for cabbage soup, and I knew that I was going to try it for my entry. My relationship with cabbage is pretty raw; I will eat it only if it not fully cooked. So my choices are pretty limited – coleslaw, pakoda , stir-fry and cabbage subzi. When I make cabbage subzi, I sauté green chillies, onions and cabbage after lightly seasoning them with mustard, cumin, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida and turmeric, in goes a splash of water and it gets cooked for five minutes tops. But cabbage is one of the very few vegetables that are available year round in most grocery stores, and whenever I go grocery shopping, I find cabbage glaring at me. I hurriedly march past it, pretending not to notice it. In the event I end up buying it because of the slim selection of other vegetables, it sits in my crisper for days waiting patiently for its turn.
Even though PJ assured her readers that her cabbage soup had no cabbage smell, I couldn’t make myself try the recipe till I saw Nupur’s reminder about deadline. Currently I own three pressure cookers/pressure pans, and two of them are gifts from my sister. The biggest one is a stainless steel five liter domed pressure pan, which I use for making idlis and other dishes like chana masala, chicken curry, rajama that can be cooked directly in the cooker. The second one is an anodized pressure cooker which I turn to during weeknights for cooking dal and rice. It builds up pressure quickly and cools down in a jiffy, helping me serve dinner at 6:00 PM every evening. The smallest one is a two liter pressure pan that my mother gave to me couple of years back, and it is perfect for making four servings of subzi (Indian style vegetable preparation). I was still hesitant about the soup and decided to use my smallest pressure pan as it would make me cook the soup in small quantity.
I made couple of small changes to PJ’s recipe, I seasoned the cabbage with garlic and cumin seeds before cooking, thus making it a one pot recipe. I also added Ching’s green chili sauce for some heat. The soup was ready in twenty minutes, and I must admit that the outcome was a delicious and mellow soup perfect for today’s snowy weather.