While I was home at my parents recently, resting and recuperating, amma mentioned that my paternal grandmother used to cook thayir thaalidham. I told her that I don't remember having tasted it, given the fact that we lived with our grandparents.
Amma does not like cabbage and she does not get innovative with the vegetable. She suggested I walk next door to my dad's uncle's place and ask my grand aunt for the recipe. I obliged her request only to be warned that I have to be on a diet and this recipe includes all that is a strict NO for a damaged liver. However, I extracted the recipe promising it was for future use only.
My athai, dad's younger sister would call me every alternate day enquiring my progress. One such day she mentioned too that her mother used to cook this and wanted me to get the recipe for her. It was a coincidence that two people thought of the same recipe around the same period! Yet I have never tasted it! Neither of my sisters remembered too.
I repeated the recipe to both my mother and aunt and waited until recently to try at home.
I requested Niki reconfirm with my grand aunt before sharing. She did so, dictated the same to me. The paper is with amma and my aunt would have been handed down too.
Now, I move on to the simple to cook yet delicious to eat thayir thaalidham with cabbage. You may use more vegetables too.
What you may need:
Shredded cabbage 2 cups
Broken cashew nuts 1 tablespoon
Channa dhal 1 tablespoon
Green chillis 4 large
Fresh grated coconut 1/4 cup
Fresh thick yoghurt 1/4 cup
Rice flour 1/4 teaspoon
Salt as required
Cooking oil 2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon
Channa dhal 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves and corriander leaves
The recipe does not use turmeric powder and asafoetida. However, as turmeric can be added to the cabbage while cooking.
How to proceed:
Cook cabbage in the microwave, covered on 100% power for 4 minutes. Allow a standing time of 2 minutes. Add turmeric powder while cooking, if using. Add the salt and keep aside.
Soak the cashew nuts and channa dhal in some water. Grind them with the coconut and green chillis to a very fine paste.
Add this paste to the cooked cabbage and return to microwave. Cook without lid on 80% power for 2 minutes. Mix the rice flour in some water and add to the above. Cook for a further minute.
Allow this to cool. Add the yoghurt and stir to blend them.
Heat oil and drop mustard seeds. Once they crackle add the channa dhal. Allow the dhal to roast and add it to the prepared dish. I do this in the microwave, though I have to heat for longer time than the interval suggested in the many cookbooks.
Garnish with the curry leaves and corriander leaves.
Serve as side dish for steamed rice, rotis and chappathis.This has now become one of our favourite side dishes. There is a nostalgic touch as I told that it was my grandma's recipe.