Cabbage Thoran

Cabbage, the word itself has the immense power to evoke a deep shudder within me……not that I don’t EAT it, I do..I just don’t LIKE it much. I am more of a lettuce girl, but let’s not go there 😛

My folks love cabbage, and the veggie is a regular at ours in winter. I usually try to avoid eating it, but Maa makes a very yum ‘Bandhakopir Ghonto, which is a Bengali-style Cabbage-potato dry curry of sorts, and sometimes she makes it with fish head, or stir-fries which I like. Of course, cabbage is essential in several recipes and I don’t mind eating it WITH other stuff :3 it’s only when I have to eat only cabbage, that I balk. So the other week, when Dad got a cabbage, I immediately set about making this…my favourite Cabbage dish……. Thoran 🙂

Cabbage Thoran 1

Having a Mallu bestie gives you power you cannot imagine otherwise, like picking up Malayalam words and relishing Kerala-style food, The first time I had Cabbage Thoran was at her place, as part of Onam Sadya…

I love the simple flavours of Thoran, and the refreshing taste of coconut and punch of curry leaves. I have been told that Thoran and Poriyal are essentially the same dishes, made in two different ways; Thoran being more steam-cooked, while the Tamil Nadu special Poriyal is more of a sauteed style. This one here is the Cabbage Thoran I love best.

Cabbage Thoran 4

Cabbage Thoran (Kerala style Cabbage curry)


  • Cabbage – 3 cups, shredded or finely chopped
  • Onions – 2 medium, sliced finely
  • Green or dry red chilies – whole or sliced
  • Fresh grated coconut – 1 cup
  • Curry leaves – a handful
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida – a pinch
  • Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Coconut oil or refined oil – 2 tsp


  1. Finely chop of shred the cabbage and keep aside in a large bowl.
  2. Mix the coconut, turmeric and onions with the cabbage and keep aside for 10 mins.
  3. Heat a pan and add the oil, and once hot, add the mustard seeds.
  4. They will crackle and sputter.
  5. Add the curry leaves, asafoetida and chilies.
  6. Now add the cabbage mixture and salt.
  7. Stir, and cover the cabbage with a tight light.
  8. The moisture in the cabbage will steam-cook it gently.
  9. Stir once in a while, until cabbage is tender. If cabbage is still little crunchy, add a sprinkle of water, and let it soften for a few more mins.
  10. Check for salt, and serve hot with hot rice, rasam, sambar or choice of sides 🙂

Cabbage Thoran 3


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