Indian Spiced Cabbage

Wednesday 10 October 2018

This is an old, old recipe copied into my Big Blue Binder from an old community cookbook from back home in Nova Scotia. I don't know who it is accredited to originally, only that it is a delicious way to prepare cabbage.

It uses fairly simple ingredients that most people have in their homes, with the exception of the Garam Masala, but I am fairly certain that if you don't have the Garam Masala in your home, you would have at least the ingredients to make your own.  Garam Masala is deliciously aromatic mix of spices used to bring flavour and warmth to many Indian dishes, so no worries about making it as if you are a person who loves curries, you are sure to use it up.  I have included below the recipe and instructions to make your own.  The spices themselves smell heavenly when they are toasting. Its a very simple make.

Garam Masala

prep time: 3 minscook time: 3 minstotal time: 6 mins
An Indian Spice mix for use in East Indian cookery.


2 TBS coriander seed
1 TBS cumin seed
2 tsp black peppercorn
1/2 cinnamon stick (or 2 tsp ground cinnamon)
1/2 tsp cardamon seeds (from about 20 cardamom pods)
1 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp whole cloves
2 dried bay leaves


Toasting the seeds is the secret to a well flavoured Garam Masala. Don't
 be tempted to skip this step.  Toast the whole spices in a dry frying
pan until they are very fragrant and a shade or two darker. Tip into a
spice grinder and grind to a powder. Alternately you can use a pestle
and mortar. (Labour intensive but it works)  Store in an airtight
container in a dark place for up to six months.
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So is this dish.  The hardest and most labour intensive part is the shredding of the cabbage.  I like to use white cabbage for this as it lends itself beautifully to the long cook time and I prefer the melting, almost buttery texture of it when it is done.

You can use whatever cabbage you prefer however I cannot speak for the results as I have only ever used hard white cabbage, which I believe is one of the most common ones in the shops and readily available everywhere. 

It makes a great Indian side dish when you are cooking an Indian meal. You can make it ahead of time and just heat it up at the last minute.  Leftovers are lovely stirred through cooked rice and reheated. (Just saying.)

I have found it to also be a very popular dish at a covered dish or pot luck supper.  Amazingly (or maybe not amazingly) everyone seems to love it.

I am not sure how authentically Indian it is, probably not very, but that doesn't really matter as it is fabulously tasty!

It is also delicious mixed into leftover fried potatoes.  (Again just saying.)

Yield: 4 - 6

Indian Spiced Cabbage

prep time: 10 minscook time: 2 hourtotal time: 2 hours and 10 mins
A deliciously spiced side dish with East Indian flavours. I could eat a whole bowlful of this and nothing else.


1 medium head green cabbage, shredded finely
1/3 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp mild chili powder
2 tsp garam masala (store bought or make your own, preferable)
2 tsp black pepper
sunflower oil


In a large pot,heat oil to cover the bottom (1/4
inch deep) until it begins to shimmer.  Add the cumin seeds and cook for
 about 30 seconds until it begins to pop and smell fragrant. Add the
remaining spices, seasonings and the cabbage, tossing to coat the
cabbage in the spice/oil mixture. Cover and cook gently, over very low
heat, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the cabbage is meltingly tender. Serve

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I cooked only half a recipe today and found myself wondering why I had not cooked the whole cabbage, its just so very, very good. I hope you will try it and enjoy it as much as we do! Bon Appetit!


  1. I'll certainly be making this. I really love cabbage and it's very much in season at the moment. I love a dish with leftovers can be used in another way to create a new dish. It sounds really tasty. *adds cabbage to shopping list*

    1. Oh, you are in for a real treat Marie! Its very good. I often eat this all on its own as a cheeky breakfast just because its leftover and in the refrigerator. (Of course I warm it up first!) I hope you enjoy it! xoxo

    2. I did make this and it is really delicious and so easy to do. I made it a couple of days before I served it because I always like my curries to sit a while so the flavours really meld.

      I did not have cumin seeds, so I used ground cumin, though I did fry some yellow mustard seeds before adding the ground spices, mostly because I like mustard seeds :-) It was a fragrant and flavourful side dish.

    3. I am so pleased that you tried this and enjoyed it Marie. It doesn't have a very appealing colour, because of the turmeric, but we find it incredibly tasty and not many Indian dishes have appealing colours anyways! lol Thanks so much for taking the time to make this and then to come and share your results! xo

  2. I like garam's good..This dish is so healthy w/ the turmeric and cabbage:)

    1. I think you would like this Monique! The only thing I don't like about turmeric is that it stains everything, but it is a small price to pay! xoxo


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