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Try This Delicious Stir-fried Cabbage and Coconut from Kerala

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This is an easy and tasty stir-fried cabbage side dish!


stir-fried cabbage done Keralan style

This is an easy vegetable side dish.


I first tried this fantastic stir-fried cabbage dish at the wedding for a friend.

His best man was from Kerala and had organised a full traditional Indian spread for the party. I talked the caterers into giving me this quick and easy stir-fried cabbage recipe.

The chef introduced me for the first time to term tempering. He told me how tempering was used in many Indian food recipes. Tempering is a way of bringing out the flavour of spices by frying them for about a minute in oil or ghee. It is an important part of creating the delicious flavour of this stir fried cabbage and here I would like to show you how it is done.

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Yield: 4

Try This Delicious Stir-fried Cabbage and Coconut from Kerala

Try This Delicious Stir-fried Cabbage and Coconut from Kerala


  • 1 red chilli pepper finely chopped or cut into rings
  • 2 Tablespoons desiccated and toasted coconut
  • 1 head savoy cabbage (Outer leaves removed) finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
  • About 20 fresh or frozen curry leaves
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon white cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon urad dhal rinsed


  1. Place the toasted coconut, chopped onion, green chilli, salt and pepper and about three tablespoons water into a food processor and blend into a thick paste. Set aside.
  2. Heat the ghee or oil in a large wok or frying pan with a lid over medium heat.
  3. Then add all of the tempering ingredients and fry for one minute. The mustard and cumin seeds will begin to pop.
  4. Add the chopped cabbage and reduce the heat to medium.
  5. Pour in the coconut paste and cover.
  6. Let cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cabbage is just cooked and voila... A nice meal in minutes.

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I really hope you enjoy this traditional Indian stir-fried cabbage dish. The coconut gives it a taste that is all its own!
I love the flavour of coconut in vegetable dishes which seems to be so popular in Indian cuisine. Why it never really caught on in Western cooking I haven’t a clue. Perhaps as Indian food continues to increase in popularity, it will.

This stir-fried cabbage is quite mild so it is the perfect accompaniment to spicier Indian curries like Lamb Rogan Josh and Rabbit Vindaloo. I served it the other night with suckling pig.

I would love to know how you get on with this stir-fried cabbage side dish so please feel free to leave a comment!


Monday 19th of September 2022

Thanks Dan this is such an easy and delicious side dish. Regards from Cornwall, Sab

Dan Toombs

Friday 23rd of September 2022

Thanks very much, I am really glad you enjoyed the recipe. Dan

Thomas Moore

Saturday 25th of April 2020

There are a few ingredients mentioned in the instructions that different from your list of ingredients. Onion? Green chili

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 28th of April 2020

Hi Thomas Thanks for noticing that. I will add them to the recipe instructions. Dan

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