This Indian cabbage stir-fry or Cabbage Thoran is a healthy and delicious stir-fry made with just a few simple ingredients. This is my favorite way to eat cabbage.
For those of you who haven’t heard of “thoran” before – it just means stir-fry. It’s a common way to prepare vegetables in Keralite cuisine (Kerala is in South India). You can make thoran using any vegetable you’d like (see my recipes: squash thoran, beet thoran and plantain thoran). Thoran is typically made by mixing a chopped vegetable with shallots or onion, mustard seeds, shredded coconut, spices and curry leaves. The curry leaves add a very distinct flavor (one that cannot be replaced with curry powder – they’re completely unrelated). If you can’t find fresh curry leaves at your local Indian or ethnic store, you can order them from amazon. When I find fresh curry leaves, I store them in my freezer in a plastic ziplock bag.
Before dating Roby, I had never tried Keralite food. Growing up, I ate mostly north Indian food and while we’d eat some south Indian food – it was usually in the form of dosa or idli. Because Keralite restaurants aren’t common – the only way to eat authentic and tasty Keralite food is by making it yourself. The good news is that it’s simple to make if you have the right ingredients. This cuisine is perfect for those of us looking for dairy-free or paleo-friendly foods; Kerala is a coconut-rich region and so a lot of recipes are made with coconut oil or creamy coconut milk.
This vegetarian side dish goes well with a lot of other Keralite recipes:
- Ground Beef and Sweet Potato Curry
- Indian Ground Beef Coconut Curry
- Indian Beef Croquettes
- Salmon Curry
- Chicken Dry Roast
- Kerala Egg Curry
Let me know what you think of the cabbage recipe!Print
- 5 cups cabbage, chopped
- 1 white onion, chopped fine
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 serrano pepper, minced (depends on how spicy you like your food)
- ¼ cup grated coconut (I use the brand “Daily Delight” – frozen grated unsweetened coconut – can be found in your local Indian grocery store)
- 2 tbs Coconut Oil
- 1 teaspoon Black Mustard Seeds
- 15 Curry Leaves
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon Kashmiri Chili Powder (optional)
- Shred cabbage in food processor or chop by hand.
- In a bowl, combine cabbage, onion, garlic, serrano pepper and coconut.
- Heat coconut oil in a pot (I use a “Dutch Oven
- “) on medium heat and add mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to splutter, add the curry leaves, turmeric, salt and kashmiri chili powder (you may want to shield yourself for this part…).
- Let spices bloom for a minute, then add the cabbage mixture and saute for 5 minutes.
- Add 2 tbs water to the pan and cover, cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove lid and stir fry for another 5 minutes.
The curry leaves impart their flavor in the coconut oil – I usually remove them before eating this stir-fry. Sometimes I’ll cut the leaves into little ribbons before adding them to the oil – makes it easier to eat with the stir-fry.