After running across a website on bento box dishes and the use of natural food colorings to add
vibrance to otherwise colorless foods, I decided to try the following experiment on my children. The resulting colors are totally natural, believe it or not, and the flavor is so innocuous that you could even use the liquid in desserts.
Simply chop about a cup of red cabbage for every two cups of water and boil for about 10 minutes. Strain, reserving the water of course, and use it to cook rice, pasta, potatoes, the ideas are endless!
The chemistry part comes in with playing with acids and bases. Try adding lemon, lime, or vinegar to the water after you strain it and you'll get a brilliant pink result. I added small pinches of baking soda until I found the right shade of blue. Be careful when using the soda as it can impart a bitter taste if you use too much. Pinch by pinch...
Using the blue cabbage water to cook the rice, I then put it on a plate, shaped it with my hands and squeezed lime juice in spots over the rice mound, turning small sections to pink!
I made beef keema with peas, filled the cabbage leaves with the mixture and put it in the oven for about twenty minutes to soften the leaves.