A rustic vegetable dish usually served with roast meats or fasirozott (fried meatball patties) but nice with just some bread or langos which is a fried flat bread. Despite being simple it can be very tasty if the cabbage is cooked right, tender but still retained a bit of bite and the rich tomato sauce has a good sweet and acidity balance. The caraway seeds give a hint of extra dimension and interest. Here is how I make it.
- 1 head of white cabbage
- 700 ml-1000 ml (3-4 cups) of tomato passata, amount depends on how big the cabbage you are using
(or 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes blended smooth)
- 2 cups of water
- 2-3 tbsp of tomato paste
- 1 onion
- one celery stalk (optional)
- 4 tablespoons sunflower oil or fat
- 3 tablespoons plain flour
- 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika powder
- 0.5 teaspoon of ground (or whole) caraway seeds
- 1 tablespoon of sugar – or to taste
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Take the outer or any damaged leaves off the cabbage and divide into quarters. Rinse if needed, cut out and discard the tough middle core and slice the leaves into strips. Peel off the onion’s papery outer skin and leave the onion in whole.
- Place the cabbage strips in a deep pan, add a cup of water, the tomato passata, tomato paste. Season with salt and ground caraway seed. Drop in the peeled whole onion with the celery stick and cook on medium heat until the cabbage tender but still has some bite, this will take about half an hour.
- When the cabbage is done, discard the onion and celery stalk. Check if you need to top up with a bit of water, keep the dish bubbling on a low heat. In the next step we prepare a roux to thicken the sauce with.
- In a small frying pan heat about 4 tablespoons of sunflower oil or fat, add the 3 level tablespoons of plain flour and fry on a medium-low heat until just starting to turn light brown. Take off the heat stir in the teaspoon of sweet paprika powder. Add about a cup of cold water while stirring continuously then pour this roux mix into the bubbling hot cabbage dish. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens and the flour lumps dissolve.
- Sweeten with a little sugar to taste and simmer at boiling point for a few minutes.
- Serve with roast meats, fasirozott or just some nice crusty bread.