Curried Cabbage

Every March the supermarkets around here drop the price of cabbage from around a dollar a pound to something like 19 cents a pound.  Since I’m not a huge fan of corned beef and cabbage, I often used to make some sort of Eastern European cabbage dish, like cabbage pierogi or kapusta, to use up all the cabbage I’d stockpiled.  Then I tried the amazing spicy cabbage recipe from this book, and it quickly became my go-to cabbage recipe.  Healthy, hot and fast, I can eat that stuff by the bowlful.

But this curried cabbage has the potential to take over the number one spot.  The coconut milk adds creaminess while dried shrimp add a definite umami quality to the dish.  Although the ingredient list for this recipe is somewhat long, I’d say the result is well worth the small hassle of finding a couple extra items from your pantry.


Curried Cabbage


* 1 small head cabbage, finely sliced
* 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 small onion, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 Serrano pepper, cut lengthwise into four quarters
* 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
* 1 teaspoon cayenne
* 2 teaspoons curry powder
* 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
* 1/2 teaspoon small, dried shrimp
* 1 small cinnamon stick
* 1 can (15 ounces) coconut milk
* salt to taste


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions have softened. Add the chili pepper, turmeric, cayenne, curry powder, fenugreek seeds, dried shrimp and cinnamon stick and cook, stirring frequently, for five minutes. Add the shredded cabbage and stir to coat.

Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until the cabbage has softened slightly. Salt to taste.

Adapted from Sri Lankan Cooking

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9 Responses to “Curried Cabbage”

  1. #
    Mike — May 17, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    I love cabbage! Just hearing the words “pierogi” and “kapusta” warm my heart. This looks delicious!


  2. #
    Charissa — May 17, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Awesome…what a great way to use cabbage. This makes me excited…cabbage is soooo crazy good for us and this looks like a super way to get it in our systems. Delicious!


  3. #
    Vivienne — May 19, 2011 at 11:57 am

    ohh i can so imagine eating this by the bowlful too :) those addition of spices is making my mouth water!


  4. #
    the actor's diet — October 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    yum! i often combine leftover thai curry takeout with cabbage


  5. #
    Anonymous — January 28, 2012 at 5:25 am

    Interesting… what did the original recipe contain for the “curry powder”? Because the curry powder you find in the US/UK are nothing like the spice mixes found in India or Sri Lanka. Apparently curry powder was invented in Britain, South Asians living in the West detest the curry powder you find in supermarkets.


    • CATE — January 28th, 2012 @ 7:21 am

      I don't think there was a specific recipe for curry powder… as I recall the book was intended for Western audiences (the kinds that have supermarket curry powder mixes available).

      A homemade blend I'm sure would be preferable, but this worked just fine.


  6. #
    Jess — September 14, 2014 at 11:28 am

    I love your site- it would be really helpful in several of your recipes (this one included) if you specified if the coconut milk is sweetened or unsweetened. Thanks for a taste of the world! -jess from Bodies Never Lie


    • Cate — October 4th, 2014 @ 4:28 pm

      Duly noted- thanks for the suggestion Jess! It’s a safe bet that I mean unsweetened… I don’t think I’ve ever actually used sweetened coconut milk in any recipe…


  7. #
    Lori — November 30, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Can fennel seeds substitute for fenugreek?


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