Friday, February 6, 2009

Cabbage Curry with Peas and Coconut – Crunchy and delicious

I know a lot of people who just hate cabbage. They make up excuses for ignoring a cabbage dish. Some find its fragrance repulsive. I’m glad S isn’t one of them, neither is anyone in our family! The cabbage curry is not a difficult one to dish up. It is probably the easiest to cook and is so delicious and goes well with any South Indian main course. Some people end up making it so soggy it gets mashed up. Mum always made the perfect cabbage curry. Perfect is just the right word. It was always well cooked but crunchy to bite. I don’t like a soggy shapeless cabbage – I’m sure no one does.

What matters is the water – yes, you might think you have to use less of it, but our family’s tip – don’t use it at all! Unless you have a rigid cabbage which needs some pre-cooking, you can completely avoid pre-cooking the cabbage in water if you want the perfect cabbage curry. Like all leafy vegetables, cabbage will wilt in water and in heat, and if you choose to use water, you will drain the nutrients away with it. The inner core of the cabbage is what is hard, its exterior is leafy, so it WILL get mushy if you cook it in water. The inner core is not hard to bite, and will cook easily without water. If you are still skeptical, then you can just sprinkle some water on the cabbage in stead of using lots of it.

All you need and have to do is –
1. Shredded cabbage

2. Green peas (optional)

3. Coconut – Compulsory!

4. Red Chillis

5. Mustard seeds, Salt, Hing, Curry Leaves, Split Urad Dal, Channa Dal

6. Turmeric is optional. I love my cabbage curry in shades of green and white. The peas stays fresh green, the coconut stays white, and the cabbage stays a very light greenish white.

In a pan, heat very little oil. Allow the mustard seeds to splutter, and then fry the curry leaves and red chillis followed by the dals. Directly add the shredded cabbage, sprinkle some salt, and make sure the heat is low to medium. Cover the pan, and let it cook. When the cabbage is done, you’ll notice it hasn’t wilted, gotten soggy or mashed up. And you’ll also notice it has cooked well. You have basically allowed it to cook in its own steam! Add the green peas, coconut and hing. Give it a stir and wait for the peas to soften. And that’s it!

Crunchy, quick to make, and delicious. Goes well with Rasam or Sambar rice. I love to eat it just like that too! You can also make this with Moong dal instead of the peas. All you do is boil the moong dal in water and add it to the cooking cabbage. Everything else stays the same.


  1. You dont even have to cook the moong dal rumsie. Just soak a handful of moong dal for 15 min and while making the curry add the soaked dal after the tadka and then add cabbage and cook as usual. The moong dalwill get done perfectlysince its soaked already. You can add some coconut also at the end.

  2. Oooh I thought we cook it like the way we do for Moong Dal sundal :)I have some cabbage left, perhaps I will make this curry with moong dal.

  3. I forgot to mention - if you are using frozen fresh peas, they soften in no time. If you are using the hard green peas we get in India, you have to cook them and add them.

  4. oh ok so you tried it with soaked moong dal too? Good good:)

  5. Yeah, and S gobbled it up. We made a huge pan of cabbage curry and ended up eating just little with keerai rice. We ate two or more cups of plain curry, and a little with food :D

  6. Hi Rums,

    Today I prepared the cabbage curry, as u have mentioned(no water) and it came out really crunchy. Thanks for the tip.

    Keep posting.
    Jhanani's Mom.