South Indian Style Cabbage Curry

South Indian Cabbage Curry

If you want to make a cabbage curry in no time with an Indian twist. This recipe is for you. I personally love this cabbage recipe over any other because of its typical South Indian flavors that make it different from the others. When I make sambar or rasam, I frequently make this and a veggie roast. I make them as an accompaniment side dish because they go well with the sambar-rice combination and are simple to prepare.

What is South Indian Cabbage Curry?

South Indian style cabbage, also known as cabbage poriyal is a simple cabbage curry made with spices and herbs. This dish requires nothing more than pantry staples. Cabbage poriyal is a traditional South Indian side dish made with mustard seeds, curry leaves, and lentils. Finally, freshly grated coconut is sprinkled on top. It’s simple but delicious comfort food!

Poriyal is a Tamil word for stir-fried or sautéed vegetables. It’s known as thoran in Kerala. It can be made with a variety of other vegetables, such as beetroot poriyal, french beans poriyal, potato poriyal, and so on.

As I previously stated, this recipe can be made in minutes with minimal preparation. Yes, you must slice the cabbage; I did it by hand, but you could also use a food processor. I was too lazy to clean it, so I used a knife instead, but if you’re not as lazy as I am, use your food processor! You must cook this uncovered without adding any water; cabbage contains plenty of moisture, so no additional water is required. The cabbage took about 8-9 minutes to cook, and once done; it’s topped with freshly grated coconut – delicious!

Ingredients At A Glance

Cabbage – When buying cabbage, look for ones that are bright and shiny, almost lime green. The color of red cabbages should be a deep maroonish-purple. If you feel a cabbage and it feels soft and spongy instead of firm and thick, it may be rotten on the inside.

Carrot – I have added carrots to my cabbage curry to add a bite and color to this mushy curry.

Green peas – Green peas add color and texture to this curry. Also, it makes it delicious. I prefer using fresh green peas; however, frozen ones will work too. 

Coconut – Use fresh shredded coconut. It’s a key ingredient in this dish that sets it apart from other stir-fried cabbage recipes.

Curry Leaves – If you can’t find fresh curry leaves, dried or frozen ones can be substituted.

Spices – You will need only three basic spices to prepare this curry. You will need mustard seeds, dried red chili, and turmeric powder. 

Urad dal or Chana Dal – These are various lentils that add crunch to poriyal. If you don’t have both, you can skip one. To make the chana dal less crunchy, soak it in water for a few minutes before adding it to the dish. I don’t because I like crunchy dal in this dish.

Green chili – For some heat, add green chili as per your tolerance level. 

Oil – Poriyal tastes best when made with coconut oil. If you don’t like the taste of coconut oil, substitute another cooking oil.

How To Prepare South Indian Cabbage Curry?

In a large pan, heat the oil.

Add the mustard seeds and allow the seeds to sputter in it. 

Then add the red chilis and urad dal and sauté them for 30 seconds on low heat. 

Add the green chilies, cabbage, salt, and turmeric, and mix well. Mix it thoroughly. 

Mix in the green peas and carrots.

Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on low heat, covered. 

When all of the vegetables are cooked, add the grated coconut and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes more, covered.

Serve your cabbage curry with rice or roti and garnish with freshly grated coconut.

Some Expert Tips For Preparing South Indian Cabbage Curry

  • Don’t overcook the cabbage; it should still be slightly crunchy.
  • Finely shred the cabbage to shorten the cooking time.
  • If you don’t have fresh coconut, soak the dried coconut for a few hours in coconut milk or regular milk (if not vegan). It can be used in any recipe that calls for fresh coconut. This is a tip I learned from my mother, and it really works.
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South Indian Style Cabbage Curry

  • Author: Mish
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x


A easy and yummy simple cabbage curry but in South-Indian style straight away from my mother-in-law’s cookbook.


  • 1 Cabbage – medium size chopped
  • 1 Carrot – medium chopped into 2cm cubes
  • ½ cup Green peas
  • 1 cup Coconut – grated
  • 4 Green chili – slit length wise
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 2 Red chili
  • 1 teaspoon Urad dal
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tablespoon Oil


  1. Heat oil in a wide pan.
  2. Add mustard seeds to it and let it splutter
  3. Add red chilies, urad dal and saute on low heat for half a minute.
  4. Now add the green chilies, cabbage, salt and turmeric.
  5. Give it a good mix
  6. Add green peas and carrots and mix well.
  7. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 to 5 minutes.
  8. Once the vegetables are all cooked add the grated coconut and mix them all well.
  9. Cover and cook for 2 more minutes.
  10. Your cabbage curry is now ready to serve with rice or roti, garnish with some freshly grated coconut.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
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