Cabbage poriyal is a simple South Indian side dish made with cabbage, spices and herbs. This super easy dish needs nothing much other than the pantry staples. Poriyal is a simple stir fried dish that can be made with any veggies and here it is made with cabbage as the main ingredient. In South India, a stir fried dish is known by different names such as poriyal, vepudu, thoran etc.
This healthy protein enriched cabbage poriyal recipe uses moong dal, just to perk up the nutrition. It can be replaced with chana dal (bengal gram) or green peas. This is not only delicious, easy to make but also goes well as a side in any meal with rice, phulka, roti or chapati.
There are various recipes to make cabbage poriyal. Ingredients like coconut, lentils, spice powder etc are used to suit one’s palate. On days when I do not have coconut, I usually go with the addition of moong dal.
This cabbage poriyal will be loved even by fussy kids as the lentils won’t become mushy. The entire dish is made by just stir frying. I have not used any water either to cook the lentils or the cabbage.
Soaked lentils cook on their own when cooked on a low heat. If needed you may sprinkle some water but ensure they don’t become mushy.
To get a non-mushy cabbage poriyal, always use cabbage at room temperature and make sure the water is drained thoroughly. Fry it on medium high flame, tossing in between. It is best to use young cabbage for best flavors.
Cabbage is one of those veggies I use very often at home to make various dishes. Apart from adding it to fried rice, sandwiches, stir fry dishes & raita, I also make cabbage curry, cabbage paratha, cabbage kootu, manchurian & Chinese style stir fried cabbage.
How to make Cabbage Poriyal
1. Wash and soak moong dal in water for about an hour. After 1 hour drain the dal.
2. Chop cabbage and add them to a bowl of slightly salted warm water. I added a tablespoon of salt to 4 cups of water.
3. Drain it off to a colander. There should be no water left in the cabbage otherwise it will turn mushy when you cook.
4. Add oil to a hot pan. When the oil is hot, add mustard and cumin. When they begin to crackle, add ginger (grated or chopped), curry leaves and slit green chili.
5. Drain water from the dal and add it here. Cook covered on a low heat until the lentils become tender and soft but not mushy. You can also sprinkle little water if the lentils are too dry.
6. Add cabbage and turmeric. Fry on a medium high flame, rossing in between. Fry till the raw smell of the cabbage goes off.
7. Keep stirring and fry until cabbage turns slightly tender yet crunchy. Add salt and stir fry just before you turn off the heat. If using coconut, sprinkle and mix well. Taste test and add more salt if needed.
Tip: If the cabbage is not young, it won’t cook well. In that case, cover and cook on a low heat until tender. I do not cover and cook as mine turns mushy.
Serve cabbage poriyal with rice or roti.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 2 cups cabbage , shredded
- 3 tablespoons moong dal (skinned split moong lentils)
- ½ to 1 Inch ginger julienned (or 2 to 3 garlic cloves chopped)
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 to 2 green chilies slit or chopped
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 to 2 tbsp oil
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp coconut grated
- Rinse and soak dal in water for about an hour. Drain it and set aside.
- Shred cabbage and add to a bowl of salted warm water. Drain the water and rinse well again twice. Drain to a colander and set aside. Make sure there is no water left in the cabbage before cooking.
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add mustard and cumin. When they splutter, add curry leaves, green chili and ginger. Fry them till a nice aroma comes out.
- Drain water from the dal and add it here. Cover and cook on a low heat until dal becomes tender & soft but not mushy. This takes around 3 to 4 mins. Do not pour lots of water. If needed sprinkle 1 to 2 tbsps water while cooking.
- Increase the flame to medium high, add cabbage and turmeric. Toss and fry for 3 to 4 mins until cabbage is slightly tender yet crunchy. Troubleshooting: If the cabbage is not young it won't cook well. In that case, cover and cook until it turns tender. But be cautious & don't cover if using young cabbage as it may let out water, making the whole thing mushy.
- Add salt, toss and fry for a min on high flame. If you cook longer after adding salt, it will let out water. So add salt only when cabbage is cooked to your liking.
- If you have grated coconut you can sprinkle it and switch off the stove. Serve cabbage poriyal with rice or chapati.
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)
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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.
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