Saturday, March 2, 2013

Stir-Fried Cabbage with Fennel Seeds : IHCC

"Meat-Free But Flavourful" is this week's theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) where we are cooking from Madhur Jaffrey's recipes. I've cooked this vegetarian dish last week and it was surprisingly delicious.

I love cabbages, one of my favourite veggie to have around in my fridge at all times. So I sourced around for cabbage recipes of Madhur Jaffrey and found this recipe. The interesting ingredient for me is really the sesame seeds, as I have never tried cooking stir-fries veggies with sesame seeds before. The amount of the ingredients for this recipe are meant for half a large head of cabbage, but I have cooked maybe about a third of a medium cabbage using the full amount of spices. I have shortened the cooking time of the cabbages as I love eating cabbages with a little crunch. Spices used are fennel seeds, cumin seeds with a little cayenne pepper which I've replaced with chili powder, and some garam masala. I have omitted the lemon juice.

This veggie dish is delicious. The aroma from the fennel and cumin seeds are really nice. I could not actually taste the sesame seeds as the amount is just 1 teaspoon, but I do think that it is perfect just as it is, even though I have cooked just about a third head of cabbage. This dish goes perfectly together with rice and just about any curry meat dish. I would definitely cook this veggie dish again. We had this with Sri Lankan Curry with Coriander and Plain Basmati Rice with some Fried Papadum for one of our weeknight dinner.  


For some meat-free inspiration meals, please do stop by I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) to see what the others have made.

Madhur Jaffrey's Stir-Fried Cabbage with Fennel Seeds
(source from here)
Serves 4
1-1/2 pounds green cabbage (Half a large head)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 medium-large onion (about 7 ounces), peeled and cut lengthwise into fine half rings
1 teaspoon salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garam masala

  1. Remove coarse outer leaves of the cabbage. If you have a cabbage half, cut it in half again lengthwise, and then core the sections. Cut each section lengthwise into very fine, long shreds. A bread knife or chef's knife is ideal for this. (You can also use a food processor).
  2. Put the oil in a wide, preferably nonstick or cast-iron pan, and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the cumin, fennel and sesame seeds. As soon as the sesame seeds begin to pop, put in the onion. Stir and fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onion has browned a bit.
  3. Put in the cabbage. Stir and fry for about 6 minutes or until the cabbage has browned somewhat. Put in the salt and cayenne. Turn down the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring now and then, for another 7 to 8 minutes or until the onions appear caramelized and soft. Note: you may need to do this in a couple batches.
  4. Add the lemon juice and garam masala. Stir to mix. Taste and adjust seasoning.


  1. Hi Joyce!

    Who knew cabbage could look so delicious!!! I made fried cabbage the other night and it didn't look half as delicious. Perhaps I should have added some fennel seeds:)

    Thank you so much for sharing...Hope all is well with you and yours, Louise

  2. Simple yet very appetizing ! Love how varied the spices in this dish :)

  3. Se ve delicioso este plato de col que has cocinado.
    Las fotos me gustan mucho.
    Un fuerte abrazo.

  4. I happen to LOVE cabbage, so this looks like an ideal side dish in my book. Thank you for sharing. Fennel is such a lovely flavor too!

  5. Fennel seeds gives a wonderful flavour to this stir fried cabbage, wonderful dish.

  6. Very interesting way of stir-frying cabbage. I am sure those fennel and cumin seeds added lots of flavour to the vege. Thanks for sharing. I like cabbage a lot as well :-D

  7. I always eat my cabbage raw, in coleslaw, but now you have tempted me to stir fry it . It sounds really nice.

  8. Hi Joyce! This dish should go very well with rice... Yum!

  9. I like cabbage, but only know a few ways to prepare it. Thanks for another way!

  10. I love cabbage as well, but have never had it prepared this way. I love that you kept a bit of the crunch and also that you ramped up the spices. I think this looks like something I would love eating.

    Thanks for joining us this week!

  11. Joyce, I love cabbage too as it stores well in the fridge. Sometimes I eat it raw in salad or coleslaw or just a simple stir fry with garlic. I must try this version as I know I will love it.

  12. This look delicious. I am a big cabbage fan too... so would love to try this out sometime... first need to understand what is garam masala?

    1. Hi Mich,
      Garam masala is a mixture of ground spices. You can buy it easily from the supermarket at the spice section.
      Give this dish a try, it is very good!

  13. Joyce, every day have to think of what to cook for the family is a tedious job, this is a great dish to prepare for, simple but full of flavour! Cabbage is rich in vitamin c & heard that it can prevent breast cancer but don't know how much have to eat to make such a prevention loh!

  14. Ooh, now I want to make this--I love all spices in it. I am with you--I like crunch in my cabbage too. ;-)