- popu ingredients, 1 tsp each: cumin seeds, mustard seeds, minced garlic, and curry leaves+ (strip one stem and wash)
- 2 tablespoons or so of your preferred cooking oil
- 1 onion, diced (I used a white onion.)
- 1 green chili, seeded and finely chopped*
- 1/4 cup of chana dal, washed twice in cold running water and drained#
- 1 head of cabbage: cut into thin long strips. Remember, cabbage reduces in volume by 60 or 70% when cooked.
- 2 tsp unsweetened grated coconut+
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp turmeric (Turmeric is a good ingredient to have, because you'll use it in almost every indian recipe, and you'll probably only have to buy it once, because usually you'll only need a pinch.)
*The recipe called for 5 green chilis. We used one sarrano pepper, and left the seeds in. I think two would have been okay. But if you are sensitive to heat, use one and seed it.
# chana dal is dry split chickpeas. Try to get it if you can; it makes the recipe. It's good to soak this stuff for about 30 minutes, but not essential. Don't soak it in a tiny container, cause it will be hard to get it out! I "accidentally" soaked mine in a plastic cup yesterday, and when I went to use it, it was all jammed in there. It grows! I haven't tried this recipe with canned chickpeas.
+ We don't use coconut anymore in this, but you could. Also, yesterday, we were out of curry leaves, and we didn't miss them.
- Do the popu (not 'the hustle'). Just heat some oil in your skillet, on medium heat, and fry the popu until the seeds start to pop (you might want to keep your lid handy).
- add onions, chili(es), and chana dal. (I like to put my chopped onion in the microwave for 4 minutes first. Saves a lot of cooking time.) I put in my chilis until I could smell them (about 30 seconds), then the chana dal until it became aromatic, and then added the onions. Fry these until the onions are soft. You could sprinkle some salt on them, to bring out their flavor.
- Add cabbage, salt, and turmeric (and coconut, if you're using it). You'll probably have to add the cabbage a little at a time. I added mine one quarter at a time, until it was reduced down enough. Stir toward the middle of your skillet, trying to mix the onion mixture into the cabbage, and to spread out your salt and turmeric. (The turmeric adds an interesting color!) Just keep stirring and adding cabbage until you have it all in there.
- Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer until the cabbage is very wilted, not crunchy. I think it takes about 20 minutes.