Monday, March 18, 2013

Ma's Homecooking: Bandhakopi'r torkari/ Cabbage cooked bengali style

Before my short course in bengali home cooking from my mom this past winter (summer?!), I used to be guilty of adding garam masala powder or any equivalent of it in every single thing I cooked. As a result whether I made fish or chicken or cabbage, it would all end up tasting just about the same- not very good. My mom uses garam masala very sparingly; mostly she uses it in meat or chicken dishes but very rarely, if ever, in anything vegetarian. Here is a recipe for cabbage cooked the Bengali style- Bandhakopi'r torkari from my mom's kitchen.

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35-40 minutes

Bandhakopi Cabbage
Bengali Style Cabbage


1 Bag Shredded Cabbage (or 1/4 of a large head sliced)
1 Potato; Large dice
1 cup Green Peas
2 Tomatoes; chopped or crushed
1” piece Ginger; grated


1 tsp Turmeric Powder
½ tsp Kashmiri Red Chili Powder (optional)
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar

For Tempering 

1 tsp Asafetida 
½” Piece Cinnamon Stick
3-4 Cloves
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Fennel seeds
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 Dried Red Chili
2 Bay Leaves
2 Table spoons Oil


·    Heat the oil in a big pot and add all the tempering ingredients. 

·    When they start sputtering, add the potatoes and give it a stir. 
Bandhakopi Cabbage

·    Add the seasonings along with the ginger and the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes down for a few minutes.
Bandhakopi Cabbage

·    Add the shredded cabbage in along with the peas and toss it around so that the spices coat the cabbage. 
Bandhakopi Cabbage

Bandhakopi Cabbage

·    Cover and cook on very low heat for about 20-25 minutes. 
Bandhakopi Cabbage

    (Note: We want to literally "melt" the cabbage down. Do keep an eye on it while it is cooking to make sure it doesn't burn, reduce the heat if you think it is burning. You will know it is done when it starts sticking to the pot and caramelizing. )

Serve with rice and dal or rotis.


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