Napa Cabbage and Hempseed Kofta
Need some hemp recipes? I’ll make some hemp recipes. Hemp seeds turn up in traditional Lithuanian cooking, and in some older documents from
Most of the hemp seed recipes I was able to find on the web are connected with hemp advocacy sites and really, the less said about all that the better. As Kenny Shopsin says in a recent documentary about his restaurant, “I’m not saying I have high standards or anything, but they’re gonna put this in their mouth!”
For my first try at hemp seed cooking (not counting hemp milk), I decided to try to adapt one of the amazing recipes from Yamuna Devi’s 1987 masterpiece The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking, originally published as Lord Krishna’s Cuisine. I would love to be able to write recipes like these. You can tell from the photo that I’ve put quite a few miles on this book in the past nineteen years. I hope to write a little more soon about how important this enormous, inspiring, and consistently reliable cookbook is to me.
This recipe is very close to the recipe in Devi’s book. I used
It seems like lots of work, but all you really have to do is shred the cabbage, combine the ingredients, and cook them.
Adapted from Yamunas Devi’s Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking
About one generous pound
¾ cup hulled hemp seeds, also called hemp nuts or hempseeds, one tablespoon set aside for garnish
2 medium jalapenos
3 tablespoons grated coconut
1 teaspoon each turmeric, garam masala, salt, and baking powder
about 5 braches cilantro—generous ¼ cup chopped leaves, one tablespoon set aside for garnish
1 cup or so vegetable oil in which to fry the kofta. I used peanut oil
¾ cup chickpea flour (besan)
Shred the cabbage as finely as possible (I was very glad to have a processor for this task), and sprinkle it lightly with kosher salt. Allow the cabbage to rest a several hours or overnight and squeeze out excess liquid. If you are in a hurry, you may skip this step.
Heat a cast iron skillet over a low flame. Toast the hemp seeds in the skillet, stirring constantly, until they are a light gold and have lost their bitter smell—about ten minutes. Do not allow them to get darker than a pale gold.
Remove seeds and veins from the chiles and cut them into a tiny dice.
Combine the ingredients except for the chickpea flour and set aside. Heat the oil in a round-bottomed pan like a wok. When you are ready to cook the kofta, add the chickpea flout to the cabbage and form the mixture into walnut-sized balls. Fry the kofta, about five at a time in the hot oil and set them aside to drain on brown paper or paper towels. Serve them with chutneys and sauces of your choice and sprinkle with reserved seeds and herbs. Devi suggests a wonderful seasoned tomato sauce recipe.
Sorry the delicious kofta were camera-shy. I will have to make these again soon and take a picture.
Have a look at Weekend Herb Blogging for other herbal adaptations.
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