Instant Potheads: Cabbage Kootu Recipe

Cabbage Kootu

Many of our readers in the tech world are Instant Pot cooks. This recipe continues our efforts to show how to make excellent use of our favorite programmable pressure cooker.

This recipe for Cabbage Kootu comes to me from Swarna Bala, my favorite Indian Auntie, who has taken me under her wing as an aspiring South Indian cook for many decades.

For a Thai twist, substitute lime leaves for the curry leaves.

-Dan Woods

Ingredients Preparation Notes
Chana Dal – 1 cup

Salt – 1 tsp

Cook with 2.25 cups of water for 10 minutes under high pressure with quick release. Fully cooking the chana dal takes 15 minutes. 10 minutes cooked the dal enough so it could finish cooking with the cabbage.
Cabbage – 22 ounces (Half a head)

Cumin seeds/ jeera seeds – 1 tsp (seeds or powder)

Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp

Water – 1 cup

Salt – 1 tsp

Grated coconut – 8 tbsp

Green chili – 1

Three curry leaves, coarsely chopped.

Chop cabbage in 1/2 inch squares, a bit larger and longer is fine.

Add cabbage, turmeric, cumin (seeds or powder), curry leaves, water, and salt to cooked chana dal.

Add 1/2 cup of water at first, and then see if more is needed to get the right soupy broth.

Add coconut and green chili (minced, including seeds and pulp) to the cabbage.

I now use 1 Serrano and 1 Jalapeno pepper, including seeds. This makes things nice and spicy.

Cook on low to medium heat until cabbage softens, then switch to low.

Three are three choices to soften the cabbage:

Choice 1, use the sauté mode of the Instant Pot on the lowest setting. Even this low mode requires constant stirring to avoid charring on the bottom.

A second choice is to put the Instant Pot container on a stove top because the flame can be more easily controlled when finishing the cabbage.

A third choice is to add 3/4 a cup of water instead of 1/2 and cook the cabbage for 2 minutes under high pressure in the same pot as the chana dal. This may result in a bit of charring at he bottom but it scrapes away easily. Then you can use the low sauté mode to complete the softening.

The goal for any of these choices is to have the cabbage soften and the dal and cabbage to become a nice stew.

To temper (meaning adding a flavored oil):

Olive oil – 3 tbsp

Garlic – 3 cloves

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Curry leaves – 6

Asafetida – 1/2 tsp

Mince garlic

Finely chop curry leaves

In small pan, fry mustard seeds and asafetida in oil until mustard seeds pop.

Add garlic and curry leaves and fry till garlic softens.

Add oil to cabbage/dal mixture

Cook on low for five minutes or more.