In Tamil, India's most southern state's language, Poriyal literally means stir-fry. This is a way to prepare any vegetable. The cooking method is fast and flashy. The lentils, mustard seeds and cumin seeds cook in a pool of coconut oil. The onion is added, sizzling and beating in a song of satisfaction. After just a minute you add with an extra bit of heat the onion, garlic, and chili powder. With the flair of a lounge singer, the cabbage is added with yet another turn of heat. No liquid should be allowed to escape and dissipate from the cabbage. Finally, cilantro and lemon juice are tossed into the mix, dessicated coconut finally ending the whole sultry affair.
If cabbage isn't to become kraut in the sourest of ways, it should become poriyal, crisp and tender at the same time.
Here's the recipe from the Noon book of authentic Indian cookery:
Heat 5 TB of coconut over low heat, add 1 tsp. urad dal (black gram beans), 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, and 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds. Let crackle for 15 seconds. Add 1/2 of a large onion chopped, stir-fry for 5 minutes. They should be limp but not colored.
Add 2 tsp. chopped ginger, 1 tsp. chopped garlic, 10-12 curry leaves,and 1 finely chopped green chili. Saute for 1 minute. Raise the heat and add 1 shredded, large white cabbage and some salt. Stir-fry until the cabbage is hot but still crisp.
Finally, add 8 TB of dessicated (shredded) coconut, 4 TB of chopped fresh cilantro, and 1 TB of lemon juice. Mix well. Add salt as necessary.
Thanks to my husband for cooking a delicious dinner tonight.