The Goan-style Cabbage Foogath Bhaji – simply steamed cabbage with minimal spices, usually paired in Goa with the fish curry-rice staple is also perfect as a side dish to your meat-free Monday.
One of the things I love most about Goan food is the simplicity with which we treat vegetables. While salads might be part of the complete meal, they usually aren’t fancy and pretty much revolve around basic ingredients like cucumbers, onions, tomatoes and carrots. But no every day meal is complete without a cooked side of vegetable which is usually referred to as “foogath” bhaji (the word originates from the Portuguese word “refogar” which means “to braise”. It is nothing but the lightly frying/braising of vegetables with the addition of fresh coconut. Whichever vegetable is cooked retains its lovely original color and a hint of the crunch making it the perfect side dish for a meal of fish curry-rice.
This recipe for the Goan Cabbage Foogath Bhaji is so ridiculously easy its hard to get wrong. Most important thing is to watch it so that you know just when the cabbage is perfectly cooked – with a bite and never soggy. The addition of curry leaves isn’t traditional but its a touch I love since they lend a lovely flavor and fragrance that complements the cabbage well. The jaggery along with fresh coconut enhances the sweetness making it very mildly spiced with just the addition of the fresh green chilli that I recommend you de-seed as necessary. Ready in minutes for your next meal.
- 1 whole medium sized cabbage (finely sliced)
- 1.5 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 2 green chillies (slit)
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 1.5 teaspoon powdered jaggery
- 50 ml warm water
- 1.5 tablespoon fresh coconut (grated)
- salt (to taste)
In a pan, heat oil. Add the mustard seeds and let them crackle. Then add in the slit green chilies and the curry leaves.
Once the curry leaves change color slightly, add in the sliced cabbage. Increase the flame and stir continuously to fry the cabbage a tad bit.
Lower the flame, add the salt, jaggery and warm water and cover to let it cook.
In about 5-7 minutes, while the cabbage still has a crunch to it, add in the fresh grated coconut and mix nicely. Serve hot.