Mzhave | Georgian Cabbage Pickled with Beets

Mzhave Georgian cabbage pickled with beets

Mzhave Combosto is widely popular in former Soviet countries appetizer made with cabbage and beetroot. Since it belongs to the Georgian cuisine, it is also known as Georgian or Guria-style cabbage. Word MZHAVE literally means salted, fermented, or pickled. There are variations in different regions of Georgia (e.g., in Guria, Imereti, and Kakheti). Some cooks prefer natural fermentation when other add vinegar to pickle vegetables. Some recipes make the cabbage more hot and pungent, while other are not heavy with spices and herbs. Every household adjusts the recipe to the taste. The common ingredients are juicy white cabbage, beetroot, garlic, and chile pepper. Celery is also often in the list.
In Ukraine, we have a similar recipe — Pelyustka. The name comes from the word “petal” probably because pickled with beets cabbage leaves look like pink flower petals.

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Rumbledethumps | Potato and Cabbage Casserole

Rumbledethumbs

Rumbledethumps is a traditional dish from the Scottish Borders. The main ingredients are potato, cabbage, and onion. Mashed potatoes are mixed with lightly sautéed shredded onions and cabbage, seasoned, topped with grated cheddar, and baked until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

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Pork Ribs: Cowboy Bigos

Cowboy Bigos

There are magical recipes so simple, a child can follow and get professional quality results. They do not require any special skills or equipment. I’m serious! I shared this recipe with my friends, clients, strangers, who were experienced and inexperienced, poor and rich, teenage students and mature adults, cooking for one or for large family — they all made perfectly cooked ribs.

When you pack seasoned ribs relatively tight in foil and cook it low (270-300F) and slow (~3 hours), you do not let any moisture to escape. Thus, you keep in all the juices and flavors of meat, bones, cartilage, and fat. They gelatinize tough tissues and concentrate. The result is full of flavor and melts in your mouth!

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Patir | Indian Cabbage Rolls

Patir

This recipe is vegetarian. To make it vegan replace Ghee (clarified butter) with vegetable oil of your choice, and cow milk yogurt with coconut milk yogurt. A wonderful combination of Indian spices make this dish highly flavorful, and chili peppers make it hot. You can adjust the level of spiciness and heat to your taste. When Eastern Europeans see this recipe, they call it Indian golubtsy and ask me what can be used instead of chickpea flour which is not easily available there. I don’t see any harm in experimenting with other locally available gluten free flours (buckwheat, oat, etc.), spices, and flavorful herbs and vegetables.

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5th of July Salad

Cabbage and Dill Salad

I don’t know about you, but I feel like (no, dear Taylor, not 22, no) eating a lot of cabbage salad on 5th of July. Because on 4th of July, I felt like eating a lot of grilled, and smoked, and cured meats. And drinking beer. And now this cabbage salad sounds really, really good. The recipe below is my version of Ukranianized coleslaw.

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Okonomiyaki, Osaka Style

Okonomiyaki Osaka Style

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese pancake made of shredded cabbage mixed with a variety of ingredients and some batter. Cooked okonomiyaki is served with okonomi sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, katsuobushi, and aonori. All these components are important.

Okonomiyaki originated from the Osaka and Hiroshima areas (West) of Japan. The name means “what you like, grilled”. Okonomi means “what you want” or “what you like”, yaki means “grilled” or “cooked”.

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