I am pretty sure you have heard of many soups but cabbage soup might be a new term to many of you. This was a Sunday special for us in grandma’s house. We used to have it with hot steamed rice, I know sounds like a weird combination but somehow it worked for me. You could say it was because I grew up with it, that I got used to the combo. Well maybe yes maybe not!
But enough said about the soup and rice combo, what needs to be said is, about the soup. Grandma used to make it with beef fat so that it gave enough flavor to the veggies and soup. It was heartwarming to have a bowl of that soup with those threads of cabbage, pure comfort food and it is yum! Well over the years the soup has evolved, [ she adds the beef fat only if she has it available] she adds in fish balls or shrimp balls and they also give a big boost of flavor.
I have however not changed the recipe much except for the addition of minced beef which you could easily swap for any meat of your choice. The soup has a good beefy flavor with a healthy dose of cabbage for measure. For vegetarians omit the meat and add vegetable stock instead of the chicken stock. So here’s the recipe
Beef mince – 3/4 cup – 1 cup
Garlic – 5 small cloves minced
Green chilly – 2
Onion – 1/2 of big onion or 1 small chopped
Celery – 1-2 tbsp. chopped
Cabbage – 3 big leaves shredded/chiffonade
Chicken stock – 1 cube
Water – 5-6 cups
Egg – 1
Salt – to taste
Pepper – to taste
Vinegar – 1/2tsp
Corn flour – 2 level tbsp.
Oil – 1 tbsp.
Heat oil. Add the minced beef and brown it off. Season with a bit of salt and vinegar. Cook it well so that the meat is tender. Add the corn flour and give the beef a stir for a minute. Push the beef to a side, add a little bit of oil and saute the garlic and green chilly till the raw smell disappears. Add in the celery and onion and cook till they become soft. Add in the cabbage, season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Finally add in the water and chicken stock (cube). Once they start to boil, reduce it to a simmer. Finally, slowly drizzle in the beaten egg and wait for it to get cooked. Season to taste.
Enjoy hot with bread or steamed rice (like I do) or simply plain.
I am pretty sure the name of the dish must have got some bells ticking in that brain of yours. I think it was my dad who heard of this dish and we ordered it as takeaway from this small restaurant. So it comes wrapped in wax paper and further wrapped in newspaper; And when you open that packet, you get hit by this big waft of aroma of curry leaves! Yep you heard it right .. curry leaves. So the dish is spicy but I don’t think it’s the spice which sings the song for the beef but it’s the curry leaves [ got poetic there, didn’t I?].
Within few years, however, the restaurant shut down. We heard rumors of it being relocated but never found it. So once I decided to try making it [ er.. experimenting would be an apt word]. This recipe is the result of that experimentation. You can tweak the spice to your level of tolerance. It’s a very simple,easy recipe with minimal ingredients.
Beef – 1 kg
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Kashmiri chilly powder – 3-4 tbsp.
Vinegar – a glug
Oil – 2 tbsp
Curry leaves – 2 – 3 big fistful [ the more the better]
Salt – to taste
Pressure cook the beef with ¼ tsp turmeric powder,half the amount of chilly powder, vinegar, a fistful of curry leaves and vinegar. I pressure cooked it for around 15 whistles. So you end up with soft meat. Now once that is done, in a skillet heat around 1-2 tbsp. of oil. Once its hot add the rest of the curry leaves and let it crisp up. Then add in the rest of the masala, give a stir, add in the cooked beef with all its stock. I use the stock because I don’t want to lose all the flavor. Cook till all the water evaporates and the beef starts to fry in its juices. If you find the beef and the masala sticking to the pan, just drizzle a bit of oil. Fry to your liking.
I have made mine with thin slices of beef( just like the restaurant kind) as well as the beefy curry cut kinds. The thin slices crisp up pretty quickly so be careful while frying it. I didn’t want mine too hard so didn’t fry as much.
Serve it hot with steamed rice, kachiyamooru[ I will share the recipe for this another time] and some veggies.
P.S. 1. The cook time of the beef depends on the cut of meat you have. If using thin strips around 9 whistles should do, else 15 -16.
- I used Kashmiri chilly powder and the dish was just moderately spicy. I would suggest to add more to your liking. But don’t show any kind of mercy when it comes to the curry leaves. Show your benevolence
- I used rice bran oil.You can use any neutral oil.
- For those of you who don’t know what kachiyamooru is, you can always have buttermilk.