Cabbage, a treasure trove of nutrition

Cabbage, a treasure trove of nutrition

It is not an exaggeration to say that a cabbage is an asset in the kitchen! This easy-to-cook vegetable is a quick-fix item on meal menus and is an ideal ingredient for crunchy salads, stir-fries and steamed dishes. Spices, flours and oil for frying can cheer up drab tea times with crunchy, soft cabbage pakoras! Cabbage can be added to dosa, idli and dhokla batters to enhance their nutritive value.

It is interesting to note that the vegetable is a favourite with traditional cooks as well as modern ones in both south Indian and north Indian kitchens. While the cabbage thoran is an irreplaceable dish on a traditional sadhya, the cabbage paratha is a staple of the north.

Julienned cabbage can be frozen to maintain its colour, crispiness and shape and it can be used as a garnish along with onions. However, many find the smell emitted by cooked cabbage quite unpleasant. A pinch of sugar or drops of lemon juice can be added to cabbage while it is being cooked to prevent the odour.

Cabbage or Brassica oleracea is a biennial fodder plant that is abundantly seen in the coastal areas of England. A mild cool climate is suited for its growth. Low in calories, cabbage is a good source of ascorbic acid, minerals and bulk.

Cabbage has been widely used in folk remedies for stomach problems and ulcers, as it contains glutamine, an amino acid that strengthens the protective lining of the stomach by encouraging blood flow to the region. A study has found that its juice heals ulcers faster.

The vegetable literally packs moisture in the inner portions and even a cabbage that is little-withered from the outside is usable if the outer leaves are peeled off.