Purple Cabbage Poriyal

Poriyal, as it is called in Tamil, is a South Indian dish prepared by cooking vegetables with some basic tempering and finishing off with some grated coconut. It is very light and refreshing since it does not involve any masalas or spices and so goes well with spicy curries/kuzhambus. This is the basic recipe for poriyal and you can use any vegetable of your choice. Typical variations include green cabbage and peas, green beans and carrot, plantains or lady’s fingers/okra. I have used red/purple cabbage just so you can try this recipe if you have purple cabbage lying around and don’t know what to do with it. Normally, the basic ingredients you will find in this dish are mustard seeds, dry red chillies, curry leaves and coconut but a tip that I learnt from my mother-in-law is to use green chillies instead of dry red chillies and crushing it with some coriander and garlic. This sure does make a difference!

Cabbage Poriyal



Cabbage, chopped – 4 cups
Onion, finely chopped – 1 cup
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 8 to 10
Green chillies – 2
Garlic – 3 to 4 cloves
Coriander leaves, chopped – 4 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Oil – 3 tsp
Coconut, grated – 4 tbsp


  • Using a pestle and mortar, crush the garlic, green chillies and coriander together
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and urad dal
  • When the seeds splutter, add curry leaves and the crushed mixture
  • Follow by adding onion and saute for 3 to 4 minutes
  • Add washed and drained cabbage and saute for few more minutes
  • Add salt and about 2 cups of water. Cover and cook
  • Once the cabbage is cooked well and all the water is absorbed, add the grated coconut
  • Mix well and saute for 2 minutes before removing from heat
  • Garnish with extra coriander leaves if desired
  • This usually goes well with rice and sambar or puli kuzhambu

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