Masala SauerkrautAdd a Comment / May 3, 2015
While sauerkraut is not a traditional Indian ferment, at Dosa Kitchen, our South Indian food truck based in Brattleboro, Vermont, we go beyond the dosa (a fermented rice and lentil crepe) to bring the flavors of fermentation into our menu.
Our South Indian twist on sauerkraut adds a medley of Indian spices including cumin, fennel, coriander, and fenugreek seeds. It’s part of our kale and sauerkraut salad and it’s the crowning touch of the original Dosa Dog, a local beef and pork hot dog nestled into a thick dosa.
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 5 pounds cabbage (1 large or 2 small heads)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons fine sea salt
- Combine all the spices in a small bowl and set aside.
- Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage. Cut the cabbage in half and remove the root end from each half (you can include the core in your sauerkraut).
- Chop or grate the cabbage in any thickness you like.
- Put half the cabbage along with half the salt in a large nonreactive bowl. Massage the salt into the cabbage very well to release water from it and start to create a salty brine. To speed up the process, you can finish by pounding your cabbage with a kitchen pounder. Mix in half of the spices. Repeat with the remaining cabbage and salt in the same bowl and mix in the remaining spices.
- Pack the cabbage into a 2-quart jar a little at a time with at least 1 inch of space remaining at the top; after each addition, pound it down with your pounder to release more water, until the brine covers the surface of your cabbage.
- Set up a weight for your fermentation vessel to keep the cabbage covered in brine. Place the vessel on a rimmed plate to catch any potential overflow, cover with a clean dish towel to keep out insects, and set aside in a cool place away from sunlight to ferment.
- Check every day to make sure the cabbage is covered with brine, pressing down on it and adding a little extra brine if it isn't. If any mold develops, remove it, clean your weight if it came into contact with the mold, and don't worry; you've created an anaerobic environment in which it is almost impossible for bad bacteria to take root.
- Your sauerkraut will be ready in 1 to 4 weeks, depending on the season and kitchen temperature and how tangy you like your kraut. Taste it along the way to check for doneness and consider eating from it at various stages for some cultural diversity.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator, where it will last for at least a year.