Spiced steam-cooked cavolo nero

Spiced steam-cooked cavolo nero

Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast
Emma Lee

Cavolo nero, also known as black cabbage, is a much-loved variety of kale from Tuscany. The texture is interesting – less crisp than our familiar cabbages – and the flavour is deeper. I recently rediscovered it at a friend’s house. She simply boiled it and, even prepared like that, it stood out. So I bought some and cooked it this way. It has become a staple in my home in the colder months. Buy a head whose leaves are not too large.


Quantity Ingredient
1 head cavolo nero
2-2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1-2 dried red chillies, halved
1/2 onion, finely chopped
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
salt, to taste
1 large-ish tomato, finely chopped
good pinch freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prepare the cavolo nero by pulling the leaves off the central core, and cutting out the tough ribs of the outer leaves. The inner, small leaves can be left whole. Wash all the leaves well.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan. Add the cumin and mustard seeds with the chillies and cook until the cumin has darkened a little. Add the onion and sauté gently until soft. Add the garlic and cook gently until just starting to colour.
  3. Add the cavolo nero and the remaining spices and salt along with a good splash of water and stir to coat well. Cover and steam-cook for four to five minutes, or until the leaves are just soft. Add the tomato and another splash of water if necessary, cover and cook for another one or two minutes, or until it has softened and released some of its juices. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again