Cabbage ambados were an all time favorite at my house while growing up. Ambado refers to a deep fried fritter and there are several kinds depending on the ingredients used. At Rajesh’s house, the cabbage ambados were called “cabbage daangars”. Irrespective of what they are called, they are absolutely delicious. The original recipe calls for soaked lentils and rice, this variation is quicker and can often be prepared when those unexpected guests drop in. These can be served as appetizers or as a side dish, with white rice and Daalithoi.
- Cabbage - 1 cup, finely chopped
- Onions - 1/2 cup finely chopped
- Green chillies - 4 minced (more or less depending on your spice tolerance)
- Cilantro - small bunch - finely chopped
- Mint leaves - 20 leaves, finely chopped
- Chickpea Flour (Besan) - 1/2 cup
- Rice Flour - 1/4 cup
- Semolina (Sooji/Rava) - 1/4 cup
- Turmeric pow der - 1/4 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Oil for deep frying
In a bowl, mix the chopped cabbage, onions, green chillies, cilantro and mint along with salt and set aside for about 25 minutes. The salt draws out the moisture from the cabbage and onions.
Add the remaining ingredients (with the exception of oil!) and mix well. The moisture drawn out by the salt is sufficient to bind the mixture. If you feel the mixture is watery, add some more chickpea flour.
Taking a spoonful of the mixture at a time, shape the mixture into balls or into flat patties.
Heat oil for deep frying and when the oil is hot, drop the balls/patties in the oil and fry on medium heat till they are golden brown.
Serve hot with tomato ketchup or cilantro/mint chutney.
- As far as possible, avoid adding water while mixing the batter. The ambados will end up absorbing oil when they are fried, if there is too much moisture.
- Fry the cabbage ambado on medium heat. If you fry them on high heat, the exterior cooks quickly but the cabbage mixture inside stays raw.