Everyone has had the experience of throwing a bunch of random ingredients together in the kitchen and coming up with something unexpectedly tasty.
My surprising creation (I would stop short at calling it a signature dish, as it is based on cabbage) was the result of desperation and poverty. Hence, its name – Poor Girl’s Fry.
It happened in January 2015. I had arrived home after several months of backpacking and was couch surfing with a friend. Jobless, penniless and foodless, I found myself guiltily raiding my friend’s fridge for provisions. Being a rather cliche bachelor type at that point, he had nothing.
Well, almost nothing. There was half an old cabbage and a couple of eggs.
Something inside of me snapped to razor-sharp attention when I realised there was potential here. I was hungry. I was creative. I could do something with this.
I peeled the top mouldy layers off the cabbage. The rest of it was good. I also found half an onion and a couple cloves of garlic. There were spices and oil.
I was desperate.
I wasn’t afraid of mouldy old vegetables and what they could do to me.
A recipe was born.
Poor Girl’s Fry
Half a cabbage, finely sliced
Half an onion, finely diced
Two cloves of garlic, minced
Two-three eggs, whisked
Cumin seeds, whole
Heat your fry pan and add a generous amount of olive oil.
Throw on a big splash of cumin seeds, and stir until browned/give off cumin-ish aroma.
Add minced garlic and diced onion.
Stir, adding liberal amount of sea salt and additional oil as required.
Once translucent, add cabbage.
Stir until cabbage is significantly reduced.
Add several showers of turmeric and stir through thoroughly.
Add further salt to taste and a dash of cracked pepper as required.
Once your fry is looking well-cooked, toss through the beaten eggs.
Stir regularly, so the eggs do not stick to the pan or burn.
At this point, you can add a sliver of butter for richness and mix well.
Once the egg has cooked through, scoop straight out of the pan and into your bowl.
Then, in the words of the proverbial Greek mother:
“Eat, eat! You’re skin and bone!”
I have made some small variations to this poor person’s recipe by also adding fresh snow peas and small branches of broccolini. However, it’s a recipe best kept simple, as it is not Rich Girl’s Fry.
I wish you luck in cooking your own version of this, or whatever other freakish thing you come up with in the kitchen. Remember, it’s all good!