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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Indian Cabbage with Peas (Cabbage Sabzi)

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This delicious Indian cabbage with peas is spiced with cumin seeds, coriander, and turmeric powder. In India it is called sabzi which means “vegetable dish.” It’s got a bit of a kick from the cayenne pepper, and a nice char on the cabbage gives it a smoky flavor! A delicious traditional Indian side dish!

Indian Cabbage or cabbage sabzi served in a white bowl

I have a confession: I’m not usually a huge fan of cooked cabbage. I love raw cabbage: in salads, coleslaw, etc. – it has a nice crunchy texture and mild flavor. But I’ve often found that cooked cabbage, if not done well, can turn out mushy and tasteless.

The only way that I like eating cooked cabbage is through this amazingly simple but incredibly flavorful Indian cabbage recipe.

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It’s like a cabbage stir fry, with warm spices like cumin seeds, coriander powder, and turmeric that add depth to this recipe, while cayenne pepper and serrano chili give it a little kick. The cabbage itself has a nice char that gives it a slightly smoky flavor.

At home, we call it “Cabbage Sabji / Cabbage Sabzi” or “Cabbage Bhaji” – which literally means “Cabbage Vegetable Dish.”

It’s such an easy recipe to make, and it’s so good for you!

Why You’ll Love This Indian Cabbage Recipe…

  • Simple and quick to prepare
  • Perfectly spiced
  • Flavorful
  • Full of healthy nutrients
  • Low in calories
  • A perfect side dish for your Indian meal

How to Make Indian Cabbage

Recipe Ingredients and Notes

ingredients for indian cabbage

Head of Cabbage: You’ll need a full head of fresh cabbage. They come in various sizes, so choose a medium size one. Thinly slice the cabbage, and discard the stalk and the stems. Sometimes you may want to peel off the first few cabbage leaves, and discard those as well. To save time, you can find pre shredded cabbage at the grocery store, which I will often buy for this recipe!

Frozen Peas: I use a cup and a half of frozen peas. Frozen peas save on prep time, they are a bright beautiful green color, and add more vitamins, nutrients, and even protein to this side dish.

Serrano Chili: One serrano chili is added for extra spice. It’s similar to a jalapeño pepper, but it’s a bit smaller.

Asafetida: Also known as hing in Indian cooking, this is a gum extracted from ferula, which is an herb in the celery family. It comes as a coarse yellow powder. You can find it in Indian grocery stores, or online.

Olive Oil: I typically use olive oil to sauté the cabbage, but you can also use coconut oil, or a cooking spray if you prefer to use less oil. I don’t recommend vegetable oil since that has more unhealthy fats.

Spices: There is a wide range of Indian spices used in this dish that really makes it special and flavorful. You’ll need a mix of whole spices and ground spices: cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric, cayenne pepper (or red chile powder), salt, and a bit of coconut sugar. Some Indian Cabbage recipes use curry leaves, but since curry leaves can be hard to find if you don’t have an Indian store near you, this version doesn’t need them but tastes just as good as the original recipe for cabbage sabji! If you’d like, you can add a sprinkle of garam masala as a garnish as well.

Fresh Cilantro: Chopped fresh cilantro is a nice garnish to add on top before serving. A squeeze of lemon juice or lime juice can also provide some good acidity.

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need

Step by Step Instructions

Roast the Spices: Heat oil on medium high heat in a saucepan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if the seed cracks right away, the oil is ready. Add asafetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and turmeric.

spices sauteeing in a pot

Add the Peas: After the seeds crack add the green peas and serrano chili, stir for a few seconds.

peas and spices added to a pot

Sauté the Cabbage: Add the cabbage, cayenne pepper, sugar, and salt. Mix well.

veggies cooking in a pot

Cook in Covered Pan:  Cover the pan and let the cabbage cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then uncover, and let the cabbage cook for 1-2 minutes until the bottom layer is very slightly browned giving it a little char. Stir again and turn off the heat when done.

Indian Cabbage or cabbage sabzi served in a large pot

Add Fresh Herbs: Top with cilantro and serve.

Indian Cabbage or cabbage sabzi served in a white bowl

What Makes This Indian Cabbage Healthy?

  • Low in Calories: This recipe makes 4 large servings. Each serving is only 150 calories.
  • Anti Inflammatory: Cabbage is part of the cruciferous vegetables family, which makes it high in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and prevent cancer. Turmeric contains curcumin which also has anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Rich in Essential Vitamins and Minerals: Cabbage is rich in vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin C. These vitamins and nutrients help to provide you with energy!
  • High in Fiber: Cabbage is a good source of dietary fibers, and has both insoluble and soluble fiber, which aids in digestion.

Recipe FAQs

Is Indian Cabbage kid friendly?

This dish does have some added spicy elements like the serrano chili, and cayenne pepper. If you’d like to make this dish more kid friendly, and if your kids don’t like spice, then leave these ingredients out.

What do I serve with Indian style cabbage?

You can serve this versatile recipe with pretty much any other Indian food. I like serving it with my Simple Slow-Cooker Yellow Dal and a sprouted wheat tortilla for a complete meal.

Indian Cabbage or cabbage sabzi served in a white bowl

How to Store and Keep

To Store: Allow the cabbage to cool and come to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

To Freeze: Transfer the cabbage to a freezer safe container. Place in the freezer for up to 2 months. This is an excellent dish to keep in the freezer when you feel like you need some extra veggies to add to your main meal!

To Reheat: Place the cabbage in the refrigerator the night before to thaw. When ready to enjoy, spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Place in the skillet on medium-high heat. Cook until cabbage browns and crisps up again, about 8 minutes.

Recipe Variations

  • Use Different Spices: If you do not have asafetida or cannot find it, simply leave it out. If you don’t happen to have cumin or mustard seeds, you can use cumin and mustard powder instead.
  • Add More Veggies: If you feel inspired, go ahead and add more vegetables. Frozen carrots, corn, zucchini, or any other veggie you have would taste delicious!

Top Tips for Making Indian Cabbage

  • When cooking the spices, test the heat by adding a cumin seed, if it cracks immediately, then the oil is ready.
  • Toasting the spices first gives this dish a beautiful aroma, and a complex flavor profile.
  • Cut your cabbage into long thin threads, roughly even in size so they cook evenly.
  • Allow the cabbage to lightly brown and char on the bottom of the pan, but stir it frequently so that it doesn’t stick and burn. Keep the pan heated on medium heat to achieve the char like texture.
  • Using a non-stick skillet will make clean-up much easier.
Indian Cabbage or cabbage sabzi served on a white plate

Check Out These Other Delicious Indian Recipes!

If you have tried this Indian Cabbage recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

Indian Cabbage or cabbage sabzi served in a white bowl
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5 from 5 votes

Indian Cabbage with Peas (or “Cabbage Sabzi”)

This deliciously spiced Indian cabbage with peas is spiced with cumin seeds, coriander, turmeric. In India it is called sabzi which means "vegetable dish." It's got a bit of a kick from the cayenne pepper, and a nice char on the cabbage gives it a smoky flavor! A delicious traditional Indian side dish!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 150kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cabbage sliced into fine long shreds discard the stalk and thick stems
  • cups frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive or coconut oil
  • Pinch of asafetida hing
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 serrano chili cut in half
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  • Heat the oil on medium high in a saucepan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if the seed cracks right away, the oil is ready. Add asafetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and turmeric. After the seeds crack add the green peas and serrano chili, stir for a few seconds.
  • Add the cabbage, cayenne pepper, sugar, and salt. Mix well.
  • Cover the pan and let the cabbage cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then uncover, and let the cabbage cook for 1-2 minutes until the bottom layer is very slightly browned giving it a little char. Stir again and turn off the heat when done. Top with cilantro and serve.

Notes

Top Tips for Making Indian Cabbage
  • When cooking the spices, test the heat by adding a cumin seed, if it cracks immediately, then the oil is ready.
  • Toasting the spices first gives this dish a beautiful aroma, and a complex flavor profile.
  • Cut your cabbage into long thin threads, roughly even in size so they cook evenly.
  • Allow the cabbage to lightly brown and char on the bottom of the pan, but stir it frequently so that it doesn’t stick and burn. Keep the pan heated on medium heat to achieve the char like texture.
  • Using a non-stick skillet will make clean-up much easier.
Adapted from Manjula’s Kitchen

Nutrition

Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 24.6g | Protein: 7.3g | Fat: 4.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.6g | Sodium: 552.7mg | Fiber: 9.4g | Sugar: 3.2g

Posted In…

Indian Recipes ·

From samosas to curry, I have recipes for everyone’s Indian favorites.

Try a trendy golden milk turmeric latte or a healthy homestyle sabji and fall in love with these rich flavors.

14 responses to “Indian Cabbage with Peas (Cabbage Sabzi)”

  1. I love cooked cabbage! Actually I love cooked cabbage more than raw cabbage. Love this recipe. What a great side dish to have. I have never tried asafetida but I love learning about new spices. I have a great Indian grocer near my house so I’ll go look for it.5 stars

  2. This is a recipe I didn’t know I needed. I love cabbage but have never added these delicious seasonings before!! Can’t wait to try this.5 stars

  3. I love the little bit of heat in this and turmeric is a nice addition! everyone loved this dish!5 stars

  4. What a beautiful blend of ingredients and I already love cabbage, so this recipe is a win win! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂5 stars

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