Cabbage Curry is a tasty, mildly- spiced vegetarian Indian dish made with cabbage, peas, and aromatic spices. Also known as patta gobhi matar or bandh gobhi matar this is a staple in many homes and is made in many different ways across India. “Patta gobhi” and “bandh gobhi” refers to cabbage in Hindi, and matar means peas. This vitamin-rich cabbage curry is a traditional dry side dish that tastes simply delicious and goes well with rice or Indian flatbreads like roti, paratha or bhakri.
This cabbage curry is an excellent choice when you want to make a healthy meal without much fuss. This vegan and gluten-free dish is easy to make but making it right and perfect needs some care. No ones like overcooked, soggy and mushy cabbage!
This cabbage curry is perfect in terms of flavor, crunch and taste. It is minimally spiced without overpowering spicy flavors. This dish is versatile and you can play around with your favorite veggies and spices too.
I always love to add some protein like Peas or soaked lentils to my cabbage curry or stir fry. Sometimes I also like to throw in some potatoes, bell peppers, carrots and green beans as well. This recipe uses a small quantity of peas which you can skip if you don’t like. But they impart some sweet tones to the dish.
This cabbage curry is made just like any other curry but there is no liquid added during the preparation as we don’t want mushy and overcooked cabbage. To start with we saute the onions, ginger and garlic followed by tomatoes.
Tomatoes add the right amount of tang and flavor to the dish. But you can also skip the onions and tomatoes from the recipe and just use cabbage. You just have to cut down the spices or increase the quantity of cabbage.
You will add the cabbage to the onion tomato mixture and stir fry on a high heat just until tender yet crunchy. Cabbage absorbs all of the flavors from the spices and tomatoes.
Here are some Cabbage Recipes I shared earlier
Preparing and blanching the cabbage before making the dish is considered very important in India. Blanching the cabbage helps remove little bugs and dirt. It is up to you whether you want to do it or not.
To blanch you will simply heat 4 to 5 cups of water in a large pot. Cut your cabbage to quarters and loosen them a bit. Put them in the hot water. If you want you can also add some vinegar and baking soda to get rid of any pesticide residue.
The water has to be slightly hot but not boiling hot. Leave for 2 to 3 mins and you will see the bugs float if any. Drain the water and rinse them under running water. Shake off each quarter in the kitchen sink, we don’t want any water in your cabbage as it can make your dish mushy. Shred or chop it and add to a colander if you still see a lot of water.
Alternately, you can soak the cabbage quarters in vinegar water for 5 minutes or in salted water for 15 minutes. Wash well before use. Both steps help remove dirt, germs, and mold from the cabbage to some extent.
How to Make Cabbage Curry (Stepwise Photos)
1. Pour 2 tablespoons oil to a hot pan or wok. Once the oil is hot, add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds and ½ teaspoon mustard seeds. When they begin to splutter, add 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste or grated ginger. Fry until the raw smell disappears. You can also add ginger garlic paste after frying onions.
2. Add ¾ cup sliced onions and fry until they turn transparent.
3. Add ½ to ¾ cup chopped tomatoes, 1/3 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon turmeric. Fry until the tomatoes turn completely mushy and soft.
4. Add ½ teaspoon red chili powder and ¾ teaspoon garam masala. Saute for one to two minutes without burning. I usually add some curry leaves here along with spice powders, this time I didn’t use since I didn’t have. Before proceeding to the next step, make sure the raw smell of tomatoes has completely gone and the masala is cooked well. It should be almost dry without any excess moisture. Also taste test and add more salt if required.
5. Transfer ¼ to ½ cup frozen green peas (or boiled) and saute for a minute. You can use fresh/ frozen peas. Dried peas or chana dal can also be used to make this curry. Soak dried peas for about 10 to 12 hours & pressure cook until soft. If using chana dal soak for one hour, cook until tender (not mushy) and use here.
Make Cabbage Curry
6. Add 4 to 5 cups chopped cabbage. Ensure cabbage is drained completely before adding it to the pan.
7. Mix everything till the masala coats the cabbage well. Fry for about 2 to 3 minutes.
8. Stir fry on a medium heat until the cabbage is partially cooked yet remains crunchy. Sometimes cabbage begins to let out water, if so increase the flame/ heat to the highest and stir fry. If your cabbage is too old and is hard, you may cook covered for 2 mins. But note that covering can make it mushy. Add coriander leaves and turn off.
Serve cabbage curry with rice or roti.
If you are new to cooking, then these tips will help you to prepare cabbage.
- I always prefer to cut & wash cabbage well so that the leaves get a good rinse from inside. But there are a lot of sources mention that it can be very well used after giving a good rinse outside.
- Ensure you drain the cabbage completely before cooking. Excess moisture makes mushy cabbage curry.
- Never cook cabbage on a low flame as it begins to release moisture and turn mushy.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 2 tablespoons oil or as needed
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon ginger or ginger garlic paste or grated
- ½ to ¾ cup onions thinly sliced (optional)
- ½ to ¾ cup tomatoes finely chopped (optional)
- ⅓ to ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- ¾ teaspoon garam masala or sambar powder as needed
- ¼ to ½ cup green peas or 2 tbsp chana dal (soaked and cooked)
- 4 to 5 cups cabbage chopped
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves finely chopped
Preparation (optional to clean cabbage)
- Remove the outer leaves of cabbage and cut to quarters.
- Heat 4 to 6 cups water in a large pot. The water should be slightly hot but not very hot. Turn off the stove. Keep the cabbage in this water and leave for 2 to 3 mins.
- Discard the water and rinse them a few times in fresh water. Drain the cabbage completely. Shake off to drain the excess water.
- Chop the cabbage and set aside. Ensure the water is completely drained from the cabbage. Excess moisture makes mushy cabbage curry.
How to Make Cabbage Curry
- Pour oil to a hot pan or wok. When the oil turns hot, add mustard and cumin.
- As soon as they begin to sizzle, add ginger garlic and fry till it turns aromatic.
- Add sliced onions and fry till they turn transparent. Transfer tomatoes, salt and turmeric. Fry until the tomatoes turn mushy and soft.
- Add spice powders and fry for a minute or 2 until the raw smell has gone. Taste test and adjust salt at this stage. (Adding later often release more moisture from cabbage)
- Next add green peas and then saute for a minute.
- Next add chopped and drained cabbage. Stir for the masala to coat the cabbage well and fry for 2 to 3 minutes on a medium high heat.
- Fry until the cabbage is tender yet slightly crunchy. If you see the cabbage oozing out water, rise the heat to highest and stir fry. If your cabbage is hard, then cover and cook just for 2 mins.
- Sprinkle Coriander leaves. Serve cabbage curry with rice or roti.
- You can use any kind of cabbage. But then, if you can, look out for green cabbage as they are best for this dish.
- Before using cabbage, make sure to wash it well. Clean the cabbage head under running water and remove the outer, damaged leaves. Scrub the cabbage leaves with your hand.
- Next, cut the cabbage into quarters and wash again so that the leaves get a rinse from the inside as well.
- Or else you can soak them in vinegar water for 5 minutes or in salted water for 15 minutes. Wash well before use. Both steps help remove dirt, germs, and mold from the cabbage.
- Drain the cabbage well before adding it to the pan as it will otherwise make the curry mushy.
- Ensure not to cook cabbage on low heat, as it can make the curry mushy since cabbage releases moisture while cooking.
- If you do not prefer peas, you can substitute them with cooked chana dal. But then, make sure to soak them for an hour and then cook them until tender before using.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Cabbage Curry first published in May 2015. Updated and republished in July 2022.
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me
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