is Bengali for Sautéed Cabbage. This is a quick sauté of shredded cabbage cooked with diced potatoes, green peas, and a big juicy hothouse tomato.
Winters were the time my Mum would make this Bandhakopi’r Tarkari when cabbage was in season in India. And so was green peas.
We would eat it with daal and rice, often mixing everything together. Other times, this tarkari would be the side for khichudi along with ilish maach bhaja especially on a rainy Saturday.
Suffice it to say, this cabbage dish and the Cauliflower Curry traditionally announced winter in our home. The aroma from the slow cooking of the cabbage and spices would fill up our home and we would wait eagerly at the dinner table to eat a vegetarian meal. Very unusual if you know my family.
There is no mystery around Bandhakopi’r Tarkari, its a hand-me-down recipe passed along in every Bengali home. I am replicating an old time recipe for good time eating.
Ingredients for Bandhakopi’r Tarkari / Bengali Cabbage Curry are:
One medium head cabbage, shredded
2 medium white potatoes, diced
1 large ripe tomato, cubed
Half cup green peas, fresh or frozen
3-4 green chilies, broken
2 tablespoons ginger paste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
1-2 black cardamoms
2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
Half teaspoon garam masala powder (cloves, cinnamon, cardamom powdered together)
Half tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons mustard oil (use canola if you don’t have mustard)
Wash all the ingredients thoroughly. You have to wash cabbage after you cut it.
Heat oil in a thick bottom pan. Add the cardamom, bay leaf and cumin seeds in no particular order. Just ensure they don’t burn in the hot oil. Sauté for a few seconds and add the cubed potatoes. I like to get a little color on my potatoes, just to enhance their taste, instead of biting into bland blobs of starch.
Add the shredded cabbage, along with the peas, tomato, ginger paste, couple of green chilies, turmeric powder, red chili powder, sugar and salt.
Cover and cook for about 10 minutes on low heat. Let the sugar and salt do the cooking for you now. Salt will release moisture from the cabbage which helps in cooking in its own juices. This is known as kosha in Bengali.
Once the potatoes get cooked, its safe to crank the heat up and evaporate all the extra moisture, but not parch the cabbage.
At this point add the garam masala powder and check the seasoning. Mix well and serve hot with roti or parathas or rice and daal just like we love to have it.