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Recipe: Indian-spiced sauerkraut

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Ferments are a great staple to have in your fridge as they lift up pretty much any dish and can easily be added to sandwiches and salad. Not to mention that fermented foods are rich in probiotics that are hugely beneficial to your gut health.

If you consume foods like this Indian flavoured sauerkraut you are increasing the health of your gut microbiome and digestive system. An added bonus is that this recipe is very tasteful and can be adjusted to your taste.

It is also quite a forgiving recipe. The principle is always the same: preserving vegetables in brine (salted water) with garlic and spices. Here I’ve used turmeric, mustard seeds, cumin and cardamom but you could use any spice you have in your cupboard (fennel seeds would work nicely!), or even add some fresh chili or sliced onion or radish, if you have them at hand.

Sauerkrout ingredients

  • 300g thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1 flat tablespoon of fine sea salt
  • 1 large clove of garlic, grated
  • ¼ teaspoon of minced ginger
  • ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • Pinch of turmeric 
  • 5 cardamom pods, pierced so the flavour
  • Peel of a ½ lime

Method

  1. Place the sliced cabbage in a large bowl, add the salt and mix well by hand, massaging the cabbage for a minute so some of the moisture starts to come out. Let it sit for half an hour until slightly softened and wet.
  2. Add all your spices to a dry, small pan and toast on medium heat for a minute until fragrant. Transfer to the salted cabbage. Add the lime peel, garlic and ginger, and mix well.
  3. Pack the mixture into a glass jar (rinse out the jar first with some boiling water to make sure it’s sterilized). The cabbage should be tightly packed so it is submerged in its own brine.
  4. Place a cheesecloth (or any thin cloth) on top of the jar, sealing it with a large rubber band; or alternatively put on the lid loosely. Allow it to sit in a cool, dry place for about 1 to 2 weeks -you can have a taste after 5 days to a week to see if it has already reached your level of sourness; if not leave it for a few days longer. Once the fermentation is done, seal tightly with the lid and store in the fridge. 

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Recipe: Indian-spiced sauerkraut