Indian Spiced Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

17 Dec

This is like a spicy pickled red cabbage that is served hot.  The cabbage isn’t overcooked so it keeps its crunchy texture and beautiful deep magenta colour. It is  lovely served as a side dish with any curry but specifically, in my opinion, with a dhal.

Dhals are soft, soupy lentil dishes. My idea of comfort food heaven. Best eaten scooped up in a piece of soft Indian bread or even just with a spoon. The crunchiness of this cabbage is the perfect accompaniment to the smooth, creamy dhal. The contrast of textures and flavours is gorgeous, it just works.

Indian Spiced Red Cabbage

Serves 6, as a side dish, vegan, gluten-free

  • 2 tsp coconut oil (or veg oil)
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 4 or 5 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 small red cabbage, cored finely sliced
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • a handful of green beans, trimmed and halved (optional)
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • salt & black pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add in the seeds and curry leaves. When they start to pop add the onion, saute for about 4 minutes then add the garlic, ginger and chilli. Cook for another minute.

Now add in the green beans, stir for a minute and then add the red cabbage. Stir in the sugar and vinegar and season well with salt and black pepper.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes until you are happy with the texture. Taste and adjust the sweetness with more sugar, the sourness with more vinegar until it is well balanced and add salt if needed. Serve sprinkled with extra sesame seeds.

This can be served immediately or left in the fridge, covered for a few days quite happily. It is equally good served at room temperature as part of a buffet. Great for this time of year with cheeses or cold meats.

I served it with my sweet potato dhal and will be posting the recipe over the next few days.

These are some of the things that I saw and collected while walking the dog….

And this is what I made with them. A Christmas arrangement made out of mainly dead things…

This was my inspiration for making my own Christmas wreath for the front door……..

And this is how it turned out…..

I’m really pleased, I even surprised myself. It’s not as hard as you might think!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!


15 Responses to “Indian Spiced Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage”

  1. ceciliag December 17, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    This is a super food dish, I often lightly panfry the cabbage and eat it with sunflower seeds, but tonight we shall try it this way, I have everything in the cupboard (which is always a bonus) .. beautiful wreath! really beautiful.. c

  2. Chica Andaluza December 17, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    Another gorgeous dish. We´re having pork at Christmas, and I love red cabbage with it – am feeling very inspired by this! By the way, how did you do your wreath…I wanted to make one too and don´t really kjnow where to begin 😦

    • foodblogandthedog December 17, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

      The cabbage would be lovely with pork, maybe add some fennel seeds to the pork marinade or when you cook the cabbage. For the wreath I bought an oasis ring at the florists for 5 euros and some thin wire from the ferreteria. Soak the oasis in water first and then start building up you base of green (I used pine), then layer over ivy, I also used flowering rosemary and olive branches. Some things stick in by themselves, other need wire wrapped around and then that stuck in. Separate all the bits you’ve collected into groups of pine, berries, ivy, branches etc then start layering and balancing it out. Clear a space in your kitchen and keep the cats out, they love it!!

  3. Professor Vegetable December 17, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    Sounds so good! I love dal and cabbage.

  4. Tammy December 17, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    I love Indian food and I love red cabbage but I’m struggling with sweet and sour cabbage.

  5. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide December 17, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    This looks just wonderful. I’m making sauerkraut right now, I know someone in the house would prefer this!

  6. janet @ the taste space December 18, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Natalie, your wreath is gorgeous… as well as your cabbage side! Can’t wait to see your sweet potato dal recipe. 🙂

  7. peasepudding December 19, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    I just love this and will keep it for a colder day, I’m just contemplating making it into a summer salad with raw cabbage and those spices

    • foodblogandthedog December 19, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

      That would be lovely, I think I would fry off the spices in oil and then dress the cabbage with it and a little lemon juice or vinegar. Definitely one for the summer, jealous of you, is it warm there now?

  8. Dawn December 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    I have bookmarked this for when I get cabbage with my CSA. Gorgeous!

  9. tiffany December 29, 2011 at 4:26 am #

    Love all of the flavors! But most of all, I love, love, love the wreath! VERY impressive!

  10. canalcook January 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    This looks beautiful, I’ve oly gotten into cabbage recently and so now love it. Can’t wait to try it!

  11. Claudia September 12, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

    hiya – sounds amazing – i have just picked up a red cabbage from my allotment and scouring the net for an indian’ red cabbage recipe for a dinner party next month …. can you freeze this? claudia

    • Natalie Ward September 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

      I’ve never tried to be honest, maybe you could do little a trial run!


  1. Sweet Potato and Lentil Dhal « Cook Eat Live Vegetarian - December 18, 2011

    […] as promised, the recipe for my Sweet Potato Dhal that makes the perfect accompaniment to the crunchy Spiced Red Cabbage that I posted […]

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