Cooking Together

‘Cooking Together’: Quick Stir-Fried Cabbage Bhaji

A Healthy and Simple-to-Make Indian recipe 

By Shanta Nimbark Sacharoff 

This cabbage recipe is easy to prepare and affordable to make for a large crowd. Besides being inexpensive, cabbage prepared using this method is delicious! 

Even those who may have been turned off by boiled cabbage or soggy coleslaw are going to love cabbage after eating this cabbage bhaji. This dish is very versatile, as you can serve it hot with rice and/or bread as a small plate or pack it in a picnic basket to be offered as a cold entrée, like a coleslaw. 

The nutritional profile of the humble cabbage is very impressive. Just one cup of cooked cabbage provides us with 2 grams of protein and about 70% of the daily requirements of vitamin C while containing only 34 calories. The health benefits of eating cabbage regularly include decreasing your risks of diabetes, obesity and heart disease. 

Stir frying vegetables, without adding any water, works well with leafy and moist vegetables. You can use a small amount of oil to enhance the flavors. The addition of spices will enhance the taste and colors. 

Photos by Shanta Nimbark Sacharoff.


2–3 tablespoons safflower, corn, or canola oil 

1⁄2 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds

3 tablespoons onion or scallion, finely chopped 1⁄4 cup of thin strips of red or yellow bell pepper

1 clove garlic, minced 

2 teaspoons shredded fresh ginger root 

6 cups of shredded regular green cabbage or savoy green cabbage

1 cup of ribbon-like, thinly sliced carrot

1⁄2 teaspoon cumin powder

1⁄2 teaspoon coriander powder

1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne powder

Juice of 1⁄2 lemon or lime

Salt to taste

A few sprigs of cilantro to serve on top (optional) 

Heat the oil in a wok or a frying pan over medium heat and add the mustard seeds. When the seeds start popping, add the onion and strips of pepper and stir-fry for two minutes. Next, add the garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute. Then add the cabbage and carrots. After stir frying for 2 minutes, add cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt. Continue to stir-fry for 4 minutes. Then, turn off the heat. Add the cayenne and lemon juice. Mix well. Top with cilantro (optional). Serve with rice or bread. You can serve this dish as a warm salad with a sandwich. 

Variation: Mix 3 cups of green cabbage with 3 cups of red cabbage. Replace carrots with thinly sliced mushrooms. Add 1⁄2 cup of thinly sliced tempeh strips along with pepper strip for an extra protein boost. 


© Recipe modified from “Cooking Together: A Vegetarian Co-op Cookbook” by Shanta Nimbark Sacharoff, Shanta is a Sunset District resident and the author of “Cooking Together” and “Flavors of India,” both available at Other Avenues Food Co-op, Green Apple Book Store, Rainbow Grocery Co-op and at local bookstores. Shanta writes recipes and articles on food and teaches cooking classes. She gives food demonstrations at public places. Look for her public events in SF Public libraries newsletter or website. The events are open to public and free. On Sept 29, 2022, Shanta will demonstrate how to make Refrigerator Pickles at the Richmond Branch of SFPL. 

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