Peppery hot cabbage salad

Mustard oil has lots of character so the dish does benefit from its use, but if you don't have any to hand the recipe will still work with vegetable oil.


  • 1 tbsp mustard oil or vegetable oil

  • small pinch asafoetida (available in Asian stores and some supermarkets)

  • ¾ tsp brown mustard seeds

  • ¾ nigella seeds (available in Asian stores and some supermarkets)

  • 2 small dried red chillies, whole

  • 1 tsp black gram lentils (urad dal), skinned, split and washed

  • 1 tbsp chopped peanuts

  • 10 curry leaves (available fresh or dried from Asian grocers)

  • ½ large cabbage head, finely shredded

  • salt, to taste

Preparation method

  1. In a large wok or non-stick saucepan, heat the oil until it is smoking (NB - Do not leave hot oil unattended). Remove the pan from the heat and allow the oil to cool for ten seconds. Return the pan to the hob, turn the heat down and fry the asafoetida and mustard and nigella seeds for 30 seconds. Add the chillies, lentils and peanuts and fry for a further minute or until the lentils have started to colour.

  2. Once cooked, stir in the curry leaves, cabbage and salt, to taste. Stir-fry for ten minutes making sure that the cabbage retains some firmness.

  3. To serve, distribute the cabbage between 2-3 serving plates.

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