Sunday, October 17, 2010

Self-Saucing Cabbage Curry

I love low-maintenance recipes. The ones where I don't need to hover over the pan watching like a hawk, or stir the pot constantly until my arms muscles quiver in protest. Where I can put the ingredients in, say "see ya later" and come back to something good and tasty. This is one such recipe.

It uses cabbage, the inexpensive and unassuming vegetable that can be dressed up in a hundred different ways. The idea for a no-hassle way to coat the cabbage in a tasty sauce comes from this recipe that I found via Priya, when she sent it as an entry for Blog Bites.

Dry coconut powder and sesame seeds are blitzed to a powder (this could be made in a batch and stored as a pantry basic). This powder magically turns a basic stir-fry bhaaji into a luscious curry, by combining with juices released from the vegetables and creating a wonderful sauce.

I don't bother roasting the coconut and sesame before making the powder, instead stir-frying the powder for a couple of minutes. I don't add any extra water either, because salt draws out plenty of water from the vegetables. This recipe would certainly work with other vegetables too.

Self-Saucing Cabbage Curry
Adapted from this recipe from Healthfood Desivideshi, serves 4 to 5

  1. Grind 3 tbsp. dry coconut flakes/powder and 1 tbsp. sesame seeds into a fine powder and set aside. 
  2. In a pan, heat 2 tsp. oil.
  3. Temper it with 1 tsp. mustard seeds and 1 tsp. cumin seeds.
  4. Add 1 medium onion (sliced), 5 to 6 cups cabbage strips (about half a large head), 1 bell pepper (sliced) and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add 1 tsp. red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp. turmeric, 2 tsp. cumin-coriander powder and the coconut-sesame powder. Stir fry for a couple of minutes. 
  6. Add 1 chopped tomato, salt to taste and 1/2 tsp. jaggery/sugar (optional; do this if you like your savory curries to have a barely perceptible hint of sweetness).  
  7. Don't add water or cover the pan (but others have noted that the vegetables started to burn at the bottom so please take your own stove/cookware into account and adjust the method accordingly). Just let it cook unattended on medium-low heat for 12-15 minutes. 
Serve with rotis or yogurt-rice or dal-rice and some pickle on the side for an utterly satisfying meal.

Enjoy your Sunday and have a wonderful week ahead.


  1. Gosh, I wish I lived next door!

  2. so simple but yet looks so flavorful. this is going to my must-try pile soon.

  3. LOVE the title! Long have you been?

  4. Any new way to dress a cabbage is a good thing to know.

  5. That sounds like a no-fuss no-mess recipe. Will have to try soon.

  6. Wow...looks so delicious..I am surely gonna try this..

  7. Woww beautiful looking cabbage curry..

  8. So easy.. a nice change to our usual cabbage curries..

  9. I'm always on the lookout for easy peasy cabbage recipes. This one looks perfect for moi!

  10. Indeed, great recipe. It is easy to drool over a cake, but these are confined to weekend projects, and we all have six other days to cater for.

  11. Looks good Nupur - but I find that when I grind sesame seeds, I get a paste, not a powder. even if I roast it, so definitely unroasted will just give me a sticky paste - what kind do you use?

  12. Sounds good! I love cabbage curry. I have a recipe for cabbage curry that I cook in the microwave because it is, as you say, "self-saucing". LOL!

  13. We usually make similar variations to a normal bhaaji(palya as we call it in Kannada) with fresh coconut and mustard seeds ground coarsely and added to cooked vegetables. I should try the sesame variation too.

  14. Kalyn- I wish you lived next door too- that would be a food fiesta every day :)

    harini-jaya- Thanks

    PJ- It is definitely a must-try, these sort of tasty quick vegetable dishes are keepers.

    musical- Thanks! So good to see you here! I am doing great, life is full and busy and good, how about you- hope all is well.

    indosungod- I know, right, cabbages being available year round and all.

    Pavani- Do try it, I think it is tasty enough to please all palates.

    Tejaswini- If you try it, let us know if you like it :)

    Raaga- Yup- it could not be easier!

    Divya Vikram- It sure is!

    Caffettiera- I agree, the everyday recipes are the ones that I really get excited about for the "what's for dinner" question every day.

    Miri- Hmm- interesting, well, I use regular white sesame seeds, whatever I could find in the grocery stores. Maybe using a less powerful grinder or grinding for a shorter time might help? In this case having coconut there might help in keeping it from being a sticky paste too. For what it is worth, a paste would work just as well as a powder in this recipe.

    Kitchen Barbarian- Oh yes, this recipe would work fine in the microwave too, I'm quite sure.

    rashmi- Mmm- coconut and mustard seeds would add such a wonderful flavor.

  15. I have made this several times after reading the recipe here: with cauliflower (I had to close the pan so that it didn't dry out), cabbage and a cauliflower-grated potato-grated carrot-peas mix. All yummy!!

  16. Have been waiting to try out this recipe since you posted it. Finally yesterday was the day. Totally yummy - the capsicum added a lovely flavor. I tossed curry leaves in too during seasoning. Also had to pour in a bit of water and close the lid else the veggie was beginning to burn. Nevertheless the end result was delicious.

  17. Love the title of the post and the curry too. :) such recipes that can be made *unattended* definitely save a lot of time in the kitchen, after a tiring day!



  18. I made this last night for dinner, and it was lovely and so easy. Thanks for the recipe!

  19. Kamini- That was quick!! Thanks for the feedback- I edited the post to say that covering the pan might be necessary. Glad you enjoyed the recipe :)

    Archana- Great idea to add curry leaves. Thanks for the feedback- I edited the post to say that adding water might be necessary for some although it wasn't for me. Glad it worked out in the end.

    Siri- Thanks! Yes, this is a great one for quick weeknight dinners.

    Diane- Thanks for letting me know! I'm so glad it turned out well.


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