Always wanting to try something new in fermentation land, I picked up some lovely organic cauliflower and some napa cabbage to see what might happen. Since I personally have an association between cauliflower and Indian food (Aloo Gobi yum!), I was inspired to make this with some indian-style spices. It came out quite delicious. The cabbage gets the fermentation going in earnest and adds a nice sourness to the flavor Although I let this one go just 2 weeks, I have a sense that if it fermented longer, it would further tenderize the florets and make it all just a little more pleasingly sour. It also has a bit of a strong scent, just to forewarn you. Perhaps leaving the garlic out would soften that. Your call…., but it’s delicious.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Fermentation time: 2 weeks+ (mine was 2 weeks)
Yield: 1 quart
1 head napa cabbage (approx. 2 lbs)
3 small heads of cauliflower
4 cloves garlic – slivered
1t cayenne pepper
1/2t ground coriander
1/2t ground cardamom
1t ground mustard
1/4t asofoetida (you can do without this but it’s nice to include)
1 1/2T diced fresh ginger
1T diced fresh turmeric
- Slice the cabbage into ribbons about 3/8″ wide.
- Place it is a large bowl and toss with the salt. Give it a good half hour to start sweating, and give it some gentle kneading as well with your hands.
- Break off / cut the cauliflower into small bite size florets and add them to the cabbage
- Add all the other ingredients and toss well
- Place it in a wide-mouth glass jar or other fermenting vessel. Put some pressure on it with your fist to encourage compaction and to get the liquid level to rise higher.
- Cover with a towel
- Let it sit for a few hours, revisiting now and again to put pressure on it to get the liquid level to rise.
- If the liquid does not rise high enough to cover the ingredients by about an inch, mix a brine of 3/4T salt per cup of water, pour that in and mix well.
- Place a weight on it – my latest preference is to fill a plastic bag with water and place that in my jar on top of the items I’m fermenting. It provides a good pressure, and the bag widens naturally to fill the jar and provide a nice air seal.
- Cover with a cloth
- Let it sit for a couple of weeks.
- Mine ended up a little slimy. Not sure what caused that but I simply rinsed it off in a colander before jarring it up and refrigerating. I don’t necessarily recommend one way or the other eating something that had a little slime too it, but I tend to be pretty fearless when it comes to eating fermented foods.
Nice simply as a side dish or a simple condiment to give a little counterpoint to a dish you might be serving.