Cabbage poriyal is a dry, stir-fried dish of shredded cabbage, spiced with mustard seeds and curry leaves, and finished with coconut.
This is a popular recipe across all of South India. This version comes from the Andhra region.
This dish, muttaikose poriyal, is an example of a south Indian vegetarian recipe that features the one main ingredient – in this case, cabbage. There are several poriyal recipes in this book, largely because we like them. They are simple, easy to prepare, and are amongst the healthiest foods in this book.
The secret to good poriyal is to use fresh vegetables and cook them no longer than you need to. Fresh coconut, which is added at the end of the cooking, helps too.
Poriyal is a similar dish to thoran and there are several recipes for both of these dishes in this book. Although similar in that they feature one vegetable and coconut is used, they do have some differences.
Poriyal is made by finishing the cooked stir fry with freshly grated coconut. Thoran is made by cooking the vegetable with grated coconut. You get a different texture and a different taste profile from the coconut. We have a similar recipe, but for a thoran, in cabbage thoran, a traditional Keralan dih.
An ideal poriyal will have vegetables with crunch, some bite from the chilli, and subtle background from the curry leaves and the mustard seeds and oil.
We serve this as a side dish, or for a simple meal, just with plain rice.
- Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat, then add the mustard seeds and cook until they start to pop.
- Add the green chilli, urad dal and curry leaves. Fry, stirring frequently, for two minutes or until the dal is golden brown.
- Add the cabbage and salt, mix well and cook on medium heat for around 10 minutes, stirring frequently. You want the cabbage just cooked and retaining some crunch.
- Remove from the heat and stir the grated coconut through. Serve.
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