Sauerkraut is probably the simplest recipe on this planet. And homemade sauerkraut is one of the best and cheapest ways to incorporate a healthy dose of probiotics into ones diet.
Sauerkraut is basically a mixture of raw cabbage and salt mixed and fermented together over a period of time. Its a simple pickling process that is incredibly nutritious, loaded with probiotics and vital nutrients such as Vitamin C, K, Iron etc.
Probiotics are extremely essential for a body’s overall health and wellness. The good bacteria referred to as gut microflora developed over a period of time can protect your body from various disorders such as diarrhoea, gas, constipation, menstrual cramps and practically everything else.
Probiotic bacteria are naturally found throughout the body with abundance in the human digestive tract, vagina and the mouth. When the body faces a threat (read an upset stomach or an illness) the bad bacteria simply grow in number destroying the natural balance of the body. It is when taking the right amount of probiotic supplements can get back the desired balance. Probiotics also play a huge role in controlling inflammation and a dose administered by medical practitioners is also prescribed to those suffering from chronic diseases or any other auto immune disorders.
Yeast infections are extremely common during pregnancy; consuming probiotics regularly and help you keep them at bay. Hence if you are pregnant or know anyone that is make sure they read this recipe.
When it comes to probiotics yoghurt is probably the most commonly known source. However store bought yoghurt cannot be relied upon anymore and a lot of us have food allergies and dairy inconsistencies. In such cases sauerkraut provides a brilliant alternative.
Traditional sauerkraut is just cabbage mixed with salt stored in a air tight container left to ferment at room temperature. And while that is nutritious to be honest it tastes completely brand and like absolute crap. I decided to spice up the recipe with some masalas from the Indian pantry to give it bit of a zing while keeping the goodness intact.
How do I ferment the sauerkraut?
You frankly don’t need to do anything after you mix salt and cabbage as shown in the recipe below. All you have to do is bottle the mixture and let it do its thang. There is healthy bacteria present on the cabbage called the Lactobacillus. When kept submerged in liquid brine for a period of time the bacteria converts the sugars present in the cabbage into lactic acid which promotes gut health and fight the bad bacteria
Lets find out how
How to make homemade sauerkraut – with Indian spices
- Chopping Board
- Mason Jar
- 1 Head Green Cabbage or Purple Cabbage Medium sized
- 1.5 tbsp Himalayan Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 1/2 tsp Chilli powder
- 1 tsp Fennel seeds
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- Start by chopping the cabbage into small pieces just like you would chop an onion or tomato
- Preserve the outer leaves of the cabbage and get rid of the hard ends at the bottom of the sphere
- Once chopped, transfer it to a mixing bowl
- Add Himalayan Sea salt to the cabbage and start mixing and massaging this mixture with the help of your hands
- Continue massaging for a whole 15 minutes (It can be a lil tiresome but so worth it)
- After about 5 minutes into doing it you will realise that the salt has caused the cabbage to release liquid brine and by the end of 15 minutes there will be enough liquid brine covering the cabbage mixture reducing the amount of cabbage in half
- At this point add in rest of the spices (turmeric powder, chilli powder, fennel seeds, coriander powder) and mix well for another 2-3 minutes
- As soon as you add the spices, they blend with the liquid brine releasing this brilliant aroma which is quite brilliant
- Transfer the contents into an airtight jar or a mason jar and cover it with the cabbage leaves kept aside in the beginning
- Fill it and stuff it right to the top of your jar. There should be no free space left between the top of the jar and the lid
- Close the jar as tightly as possible. This is the most important step as trapping the cabbage in with the salt, liquid brine and the dash of our Indian spices is going to allow it to ferment
- Your work as far as the recipe is concerned completes here. Now leave the jar at one of the corners of your kitchen table and allow it to ferment.
- If you live in colder regions it can take up to 3 – 4 full weeks until its ready to give a nice tangy kick to your sauerkraut. However if you are in a tropical climate it will ferment in about a week.
- In order to know when its ready – simply pick a spoon and give it a mouthful. The point at which your tastebuds approve is the point where it is done. Store it It should ideally taste somewhat sour, tangy and a lil spicy due to the spices that we added
- Once it reaches a desired taste put that bottle in the fridge and it will last for several months
- Enjoy your sauerkraut on rolls, tortillas, gluten free breads or absolutely just like that.. the possibilities are endless
- Feel free to use tools like silver foils, papers, rubber bands etc. to make sure your jar is tightly packed.
- If the site of your cabbage is larger than what recommended – add 2 tablespoons of Himalayan sea salt instead
- You may see a white foamy substance form on the top of the bottle. If it does just use a spoon to scrape it off before storing it in the fridge