Hearty, Healthy and Ohh So satisfying Cabbage Rolls stuffed with spinach, corn and cheese.
Being able to cook does raise your worth quiet a bit in the eyes of your friends (LAUGHS!!). If you just so happen to have your own food blog (Yours truly!!) then it does feel like you are the first person to get invited to every party (CHUCKLES!!). On the flipside there are times when someone pops in to your apartment uninvited and puts you in a bind. These are the occasions when CABBAGE ROLLS stuffed with classic spinach and cheese filling comes to your rescue.
I have a very small group of friends and we all share a very special bond with each other. There are absolutely no formalities between us, which means our apartments are always open for each other so to speak (LAUGHS!!). In addition we are also a bit dysfunctional especially now that the football season has begun. All of us are football fanatics which is why it is not uncommon for us to go to each other’s houses unannounced to watch the games. So it was no big surprise when a couple of friends appeared at my doorstep to watch the college football games on Saturday.
The Ganesh festival is going on so meat and the other typical game day food was out of question. I was still running through options in my mind when my eyes fell on the big cabbage lying in the refrigerator. That gave me the idea of trying something I haven’t made before i.e. “CABBAGE ROLLS”. Now y’all might say besides being time-consuming Cabbage Rolls doesn’t exactly scream game day food and I will totally agree with you. I got my friends involved in making the rolls which took care of the time issue. As for the second problem all I can say is that this recipe was an experiment and I had the perfect guinea pigs for that in my wife and friends (LAUGHS HARD).
Firstly lets get the cabbage rolls pliable so that they can be easily rolled up. To do that cut the centre core out of the cabbage. Immerse the whole cabbage in the boiling water with core side down. Cook until the leaves become soft. Gently separate leaves with tongs and set them aside to cool.
As for the filling I kept it nice and simple. I did not want to spend an hour cooking it so went for the classic combination of spinach, corn and cheese. The only difference was that I gave it an Indian touch.
Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and add cumin seeds. When they splutter add onions, ginger- garlic-chili paste and saute. Mix in the spinach and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomato puree, turmeric, coriander powder, dry mango powder, garam masala(I made my own but y’all can use store-bought) and cook for few minutes. Add corn, mix well and cook for about 5 minutes. Season with salt.
At this point I noticed my friends getting a bit antsy for the food. So I decided to make them work for it a little more by helping me make the cabbage rolls (CHUCKLES!!!!). I was just hoping to get their mind off food for a while (LAUGHS!!!).
To form the rolls trim the thick vein from the cabbage leaf with knife. Spoon spinach corn mixture to the bottom 1/3 of the cabbage leaf, top it with cheese. Note: Do not over-stuff. Gently pull the bottom of the cabbage leaf over the filling, tuck the filling in. Fold in the sides of the cabbage leaf and roll like a burrito.
Place the rolls in a steamer and steam for 30 minutes.
To finish off the dish I made a simple sauce with onions, tomatoes and a little garam masala.
Heat oil in a pan add garlic and cook till golden. Add onion and saute them until translucent. Add tomato puree, garam masala and mix till oil starts separating. Pour in water as needed and simmer for 5 minutes. If y’all want a thick sauce do not add water. Season with salt. Remove from heat and let it cool. Transfer it to a food processor and puree.
Serve the rolls with the sauce spooned on the top. I did get the food ready before the start of the primetime game which was the easy part. I had made my friends work for their food so if my so-called experiment wasn’t successful then they were going to let me hear it LOUD & CLEAR (LAUGHS!!). Luckily the only loud noise was that of the game on the TV which I took it as a good sign. It meant that my experiment was a Success!!!.
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- 1 head Cabbage
- 2 frozen pack Spinach, thawed
- ½ cup frozen Corn
- ½ large Onion
- 1 cup Tomato Puree
- ½ tsp Turmeric
- 2 tsp Coriander Powder
- 4 tsp Ginger, Garlic, Green Chili Paste
- 1 tsp Dry Mango Powder
- ¼ tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 tsp Garam Masala Store-bought/Homemade (recipe in the notes)
- Salt as per taste
- ½ large Onion (chopped)
- 1½ cup Tomato Puree
- 1 large Garlic Clove (chopped)
- 1 cup Water
- ¾ tsp Garam masala
- Cut the centre core out of the cabbage and immerse it in the boiling water with core side down. Cook until the leaves become pliable.
- Gently separate leaves with tongs and set aside.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and add cumin seeds. When they splutter add onion, ginger-garlic-chili paste and saute.
- Mix in the spinach and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomato puree, turmeric, coriander powder, dry mango powder, garam masala and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add corn, mix well and cook for about 5 minutes. Season with salt.
- Heat oil in a pan add garlic and cook till golden. Add onion and saute them until translucent.
- Add tomato puree, garam masala and mix till oil starts separating.
- Pour in water and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt. Remove from heat and let it cool.
- Transfer it in a food processor and puree.
- Trim the thick vein from the cabbage leaf with knife. Spoon spinach corn mixture to the bottom ⅓ of the cabbage leaf and top it with cheese. Note: Do not over-stuff.
- Gently pull the bottom of the cabbage leaf over the filling and tuck the filling in. Fold in the sides of the cabbage leaf. Gently but tightly roll like a burrito.
- Place the rolls in the steamer and steam for 30 minutes.
- Serve the rolls with the sauce spooned on the top
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 small Cinnamon Sticks
20 Black Pepper
Individually roast the ingredients and grind them into a fine powder.