Does Cabbage Fight Cancer? / ब्राजील गोभी

Braised Cabbage
An Indian Classic, Purely Vegetarian

Cooking with Napa Cabbage

Does Cabbage fight cancer? It appears likely. Cabbage contains several compounds shown  to help prevent tumors from forming, being specially effective in preventing tumors of the breast, prostate and colon.

One compound, indone-3-carbinol, or I3C. is especially effective against breast cancer.

Another compound in Cabbage, sulforaphane, has been found to step up production of tumor-preventing enzymes throughout the body.

Cabbage is rich in antioxidants such s vitamins C and E and betacarotene. It has been shown to help reduce the risk of cataracts and also help prevent heart disease and birth defects.

Here’s a simple Indian recipe. A simple recipe.  Not too long preparation.  Takes the humble Cabbage to nes flavor levels. Adapted from Pasricha and  Hosain.

 Braised Cabbage / ब्राजील गोभी



Cooking Asian dishes with onions1 large Cabbage
1 tablespoon Rice
3 Potatoes
2 Onions
½ Green Pepper
1 ½ ounces Ghee, Butter or other Vegetable Oil
½ teaspoon Garam Masala

The Mixture:
¼ teaspoon Ground Ginger
¼ teaspoon ground Turmeric
¼ teaspoon Chili Powder

½ teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt or to taste


First soak the Rice in cold Water for half an hour.

While the Rice is soaking, slice the Cabbage and steam it about 5 minutes in a steamer.  Drain and set it aside.

Also at this time slice the Onions and Green Pepper and set aside.

In a separate pot, boil the Potatoes.  When they are cooked, cut them into 8 pieces each and set aside.

Prepare The Mixture and set this aside.

To make the dish, het a heavy saucepan.  When the pan is h to, put in the Oil.  When the Oil is hot, fry the cut=up Potatoes.  Drain them and keep them to one side.  Next fry the Onions, Garam Masala and drained soaked Rice for a minute.

Then add The Mixture.  Brown and add a cup of hot Water and simmer until the Rice is cooked, about another 5 – 6 minutes.

Finally put in the Cabbage, Potatoes and sliced Green Peppers.

Sir these vegetables.  Then add the Sugar and Salt and stir again to combine..

Simmer a few more minutes until nearly all the liquid is dried up, then serve hot.

So how healthy is this dish?  Accoding to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the main ingredient, Cabbage, has a Neutral or slightly Cool nature.  This is balanced by the Onions and Green Peppers, which have a Warm nature.

Potatoes in TCM are thought to be Sweet and Neutral/  They contain phosphorus, lactic acid and vitamins B6 and are believed to reduce inflammation.

In terms of objective nutritional analysis of the main ingredients, the Japanese nutritionist Matsumoto found Cabbage especially good source of calcium and phosphorus.

For another approach to using Cabbage, see the Chinese recipe for Cabbage in Milk.


India - street scene in front of Tea Board, Calcutta

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