Friday, January 27, 2012

Cabbage Stir-Fry

Cabbage Stir-fry
You may have noticed that I have not been actively posting over the past few weeks. This is because we have moved to a new country(in the middle of Europe). I am still adjusting to my new surroundings and tied up with the post-move chores.  As a foodie this means tasting new food and experimenting. Unfortunately I still have not started taking photos in new place, as we are still in a temporary place with limited cooking space. But I'm eagerly waiting to capture and share all my new experiments with you all. God willing we hope to move into a permanent place soon.

This recipe is called varai in Tamil, is a Sri Lankan style stir fry. Similar dish is prepared in Kerala cuisine and is called "Thoran". It simply means stir fried vegetables mixed with shredded coconut, dry red chili and curry leaves. You may use mustard and orid dhal or bengal gram to add color and nutty flavor to this stir fry. (Imagine carrot stir fry, with dark green curry leaves, red chilis and yellow gram. Wow what a healthy treat to your eyes and body!) You can make similar stir-fry with all kinds of vegetables.  Some vegetables that I have used are leeks, grated beet root, grated carrot, square beans, long beans, green beans, green plantain, boiled potatoes, boiled tapioca. So that's why I say you can do this stir fry  with any vegetable of your choice. Also you can do this with any type of greens. One of my favorite greens ares kang kung cooked in this style. I serve it with rice.
Cabbage Stir-fry (known as Varai in Sri Lankan Tamil cuisine)

Print recipe here
Serves 2-3

2 tbsp Indian sesame oil (or any vegetable oil)
1 onion diced
Few curry leaves
2 red chilis diced
1 tsp of each mustard and cumin seeds
1 tbsp yellow gram
400g cabbaged thinly sliced ( you can also use purple cabbage or savoy cabbage for this recipe)
Pinch of turmeric powder


Heat oil in a non-stick pan, sauté onion, curry leaves and red chili for a minute till they are aromatic. Add mustard, cumin seeds and yellow gram. When mustard seeds start to splutter add cabbage, salt and turmeric.

Stir cabbage for 5 minutes till its cooked and water is evaporated.

Note : You may add shredded coconut to this stir -fry. Add them at stage 1, after you saute the aromatics. It gives mild sweetness to this dish.

Serving Suggestion : You can serve a good balanced meal by plating one cup of rice, a vegetable or green stir fry (varai) and a protein gravy curry. Here are some protein curry suggestions.

Dal Makani - Black Lentils in spicy cream sauce
Soy Marinated Curry Chicken 
Cabbage Stir-fry (known as Varai in Sri Lankan Tamil cuisine)
Please bear with me for the time being as I'm not going to be a frequent blogger, until we settle down in a permanent place...God willing, hopefully soon.


  1. lovely stir fry I make it often I don't add yellow gram looks wonderful hope to hear from you when you settle

  2. I love stir fried cabbage and will try it with some of your spices. I know you must be awaiting a home for all your equipment and spices to make you feel settled. I am in the middle of rearranging things, too, to be able to babysit a four year old. Many things must be put out of sight, or higher.

  3. Such a unique recipe and gorgeous pictures!

  4. the cabbage stir fry looks great.. i add different types of lentils and grams to change it up.. hope to see lots more when you settle.

  5. Ami's Vegetarian DelicaciesJanuary 29, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Tnx Richa, hope ur doing good. for a stir-fry if u add lentils wouldn't it be raw?, or do u pre-cook them and add?

  6. Ami's Vegetarian DelicaciesJanuary 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    ya i'm eagerly waiting to start cooking and shooting again. i do cook now, but not enough space and lighting to capture them :(, good luk with re-designing ur home

  7. Congratulations on your move, how exciting! This dish looks incredible and I am loving these flavors, beautiful!

  8. Congratulations on the new house! How exciting!

  9. The dish looks so yummy and i love the flavor..
    it's look amazing :D

  10. I adore cabbage poriyal/thoran and your clicks of it are gorgeous! I'm a first-time visitor have a lovely blog! And it looks like our lifes have resembled each other in reverse order. After almost 6 years in the middle of Europe (Paris), we've just landed in SE Asia (Bangkok)!

  11. Ami's Vegetarian DelicaciesMarch 14, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    Yes indeed, are u a vegetarian. I do check out your lovely blog, like the recipes in there. How is vegetarianism in Thailand? How hard is it for you to get food there?

  12. that is a kind of dish I cook on a regular basis during the winter. scrumptious!



  13. luv it dear. New to ur site. This is staple keralan dish dear. Lovely clicks. :-)

  14. Hi Ami your recipes are stunning and I'm going to start testing today!:-) Just one small thing - Parmesan cheese is never vegetarian. Fortunately delicious vegetarian alternatives are widely available in the UK, and hopefully in Switzerland too.


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