Spicy chickpeas with savoy cabbage

This is not a new recipe. It’s the same recipe as the Kala Chana  with a few substitutions. I used 560g of the more familiar white chickpeas instead of black, used a white onion, 3 diced Maris Piper potatoes and also added 9 savoy cabbage leaves shredded very finely. I added the cabbage at the same time as the chickpeas and potatoes but in future, I’ll add it nearer the end of cooking so it retains some crunch. I removed the main vein in each leaf too as that can be chewy.

Truthfully, the cabbage didn’t add tremendously to the flavour. I did it as I’m trying to eat more brassicas for health reasons. So if you don’t have any, or don’t fancy it, thinks it’s a dumb idea then just omit it.

Today I served the shak with brown basmati rice. I love white basmati rice so much and think it has a lot more flavour. But again, for the old health, I tried brown. And you know what, though this dish looked too much like something a sock wearing sandaled hippie vegie would eat, it tasted pretty good.

Gobi Aloo

I have a couple of cookery books by Monisha Bharadwaj. They are very good, colourful, full of helpful photos and cover the different regions of India. The recipe below is a variation of hers (i.e. it’s my version!)


  • 3tbs groundnut oil
  • 1tbs ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion – chop very finely
  • 2 tsp ginger – grate
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 green chillies
  • 3 large potatoes – chop in 2 inch cubes
  • 170 g tomatoes (about 2 medium-sized ones) – chop into dice
  • 1 full head cauliflower – chop into florets
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander/cumin powder (dhana jeeru)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs Water – optional
  • Coriander to garnish


  • In a heavy based pan, heat oil /ghee over medium heat
  • Add cumin seeds and wait for to start to sizzle and darken
  • Add onions, ginger and cinnamon and cook until onions start to brown
  • Add potatoes and chillies. Cook for 2 mins stirring often to prevent sticking
  • Add cauliflower, tomatoes and spices
  • Mix thorough and cook until the potatoes/cauliflower soften. If you cook slowly, there is usually enough water in the cauliflower for the shak to cook. However, if you want to help it along, add a couple of tablespoons water.
  • Garnish with coriander and serve with rice.

P.S. Ghee is clarified butter. It’s very easy to make. Take one block of butter (we use Anchor butter) and heat gently. The salt from the butter will start to separate out and form a skin. Cook gently for about half an hour then strain to remove the salt. The resulting liquid should be the colour of honey. Can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks.