Cabbage The Punjabi Way

Let’s face it, cabbage can be pretty boring.  It needs something to help it to be exciting.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore this round beautiful vegetable, but I adore almost all vegetables. I like Cabbage raw with a sprinkle of kosher salt, as coleslaw, next to a slab of corned beef, and in vegetable soup, but pairing it with Indian spices makes it amazing.

My youngest daughter attended Syracuse University from 2008 until her graduation in 20012.  While she was there she made a number of friends from India, and eventually became the vice president of the campus’ South Asian Student’s Association, even though our family is of Northern European ancestry.  She helped plan activities and did fund raising, wore sari’s, threw colorful paint powder at her friends during Holi, the festival of colors, and helped coordinate the food that was served. She came to love the people,  culture and food of India.  Our family has always enjoyed Indian cuisine, but her increased interest caused our family to start making more Indian dishes at home.  One of my favorites is Punjabi Cabbage.

Punjabi Cabbage

Punjabi Cabbage


  • 1/2 Large Onion roughly chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, peeled
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Grated Ginger
  • 2 Green Chilies, seeded and chopped (optional, leave out for less heat)
  • 4 Tablespoons Oil (I use Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, melted)
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
  • 1 Medium Head of Cabbage (around 1 to 1.5 pounds), finely shredded
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter or Ghee (optional)

Place the onion, garlic, ginger and chilies in a food processor or blender, and process until the mixture is finely chopped, but not quite a paste.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook the onion mixture until it starts to brown and is softened.  Add the cumin seeds and turmeric and stir for about 1 minute, mixing the spices into the onion mixture completely.  Add the salt, pepper, ground cumin, coriander, and chili powder.  Stir until all of the spices are incorporated.

photo 1(10)

Mix in the cabbage until all of the leaves are coated with the yellow onion spice mixture.  Add the water to the pan, partially cover, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the cabbage is crisp tender.  Add the butter or ghee if using, and adjust the salt if necessary.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


I love having this dish along with baked or tandoori style chicken, plain yogurt mixed with chopped cucumber and garlic, Basmati rice, and a crisp salad.  If you want to have a vegetarian meal, add a serving of lentil dahl, or some chickpeas along with the cabbage.

However you choose to serve this recipe, I am sure you will enjoy having a little bit of India on your table.



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