I had some red cabbage leftover from cooking for the Venezuelan refugees (making an entire half-tray of cabbage slaw for 40 only used up half a cabbage!), so I thought it would be a good time to experiment with it a little for Sri Lankan cooking.
I’d tried using red cabbage before, in a varai, which is a lightly cooked vegetable dish, but my beautiful red cabbage turned blue-grey, thoroughly unappetizing. I was so sad.
But I went and researched, and it turns out there’s a simple fix — add some acid. Vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice will all work, and lime juice is common in our recipes, so that seemed like the natural option. I added 2 T of lime juice to the dish, and look, it’s a lovely purple now.
I also thought it was worth trying cabbage in a sambol (which doesn’t have heat applied), so I just substituted it into my kale sambol recipe, which is really Roshani‘s Aunty Indranee’s kale sambol recipe, and it worked beautifully, I think.
I’m going to make a pork curry next, and I think both of these would be terrific accompaniments for that. I’ve portioned some out into storage bags and put them in the freezer — I’m curious to see if they’ll freeze well. I suspect the fresh tomatoes will get a little sad, and if I were actually going to make a batch of cabbage sambol for freezing, I’d wait to chop and add the tomatoes as a last step after thawing the sambol.
But aside from that, I *think* this may work okay, in which case, it’d be a great way to make it easier for me to get some nice fibrous veggies into me — I like lots of vegetable dishes, but I get lazy about cooking them, and will often default to just a meat curry and rice or bread. (These are also really cheap dishes, which is particularly nice now that the price of groceries has gone up so much…)
If I can make a big batch of cabbage and freeze it (maybe portioning it out), I think it might make it easy to grab and add on nights when I’ve made a curry? We’ll see how it does freezing — I’m not sure how long give it for a good test, though. Will a day or two be enough, or should I give it a week or a month?
Recipes in next post!