D’oh! For the past 8 months I’ve been cooking what I thought was kale. Hah! Jokes on me! No wonder those “kale chips” didn’t quite turn out like they were supposed to. This tale of D’oh begins one day over the summer of 2010. Many trips to my local produce shop used to include a couple of minutes of weirdly eyeing a firm head of leafy vegetable called kapusta. I already knew kapusta meant cabbage in many Slavic languages. But in Czech cabbage is called zeli, and there are different types of zeli. One day I finally came home to double check the word kapusta. My little Czech dictionary said cabbage and when I looked it up online the translation was kale and cabbage. Kale is a type of cabbage so I said, oh cool it’s Kale! And I happy danced because it was on our list of veggies to try.
Eight months ago when I looked up kapusta I also did a Google images search. I somehow, idiotically, convinced myself that the kale variety available here is a bit different from the varieties on Google images. The kapusta was firm, green(ish), and curly, which also describes kale. My excuse is that it was a hot summer day and my brain was too hot to do further research and went on a long holiday. It’s my story and I’m sticking to it, don’t judge. Last night as I sat down to type this recipe and gather some nutritional information about kale, I did the proper research I should have done 8 months ago. It became apparent that this kapusta was not kale but in fact savoy cabbage. Get ready for it… D’OH! And an expletive that I’ll exclude here!
Now I’m too tired to look up and give you nutritional information for savory cabbage, perhaps another time. But what I will tell you is that savoy cabbage rocks! It’s a bit firm, won’t wilt too much but I found it to be versatile and delicious. I’ve used it as a side dish, in soups, in stuffing, in curry, as kapusta chips, well you get the picture. Here’s my recipe for
Not Kale Savoy Cabbage Spiced with Homemade Garam Masala, it’s really good and you’ll love it. By the way I think this recipe would also taste great using kale. Those of you kale experts would you agree?
Ingredients : ( 3-4 servings )
half head or 500 grams/about 1lb. fresh savoy cabbage
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cm or 3/4 inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. sunflower oil or ghee
2-3 tsp. Garam Masala (I used my homemade recipe, spice according to your taste)
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch ground black pepper
pinch of cumin seed
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1. Cut the cabbage in half then quarter each half and separate the layers. Run the savoy cabbage under cold water to clean thoroughly and set aside. Heat the oil in a large and deep pan. Then add the onion and saute until transparent, next add the ginger and garlic and saute for another 4 minute.
2. Sprinkle half the Garam Masala over the onion mixture and stir well. Start placing the cabbage in the pan and layering it if need be. Lastly sprinkle the remaining Garam Masala and spices over the cabbage. Cover and turn heat to medium low. Once the cabbage begins to soften you can stir it to better distribute the spices.
I added a little bit of water at a time to the pan to prevent the cabbage from burning and not having to add any more oil. Check on the cabbage often to see if it needs a little more water. The cabbage cooked for about 20 minutes before it became soft and wilted, the texture I wanted. Cook the cabbage until you are satisfied with the texture or crunchiness.
Serve as a side dish.
Obviously I’ve never seen kale in person nor tasted it so I didn’t know kapusta from kale, until know. I think. If I’m still wrong about this being savoy cabbage let me know please.