cabbage carrot palya

23rd February 2019

Growing up as a child, dinner was always six o’clock sharp, no later and no earlier. I grew up on the same weekly menu for as long as I lived with my parents and they still, to this day, eat according to this same menu.

This routine seems to be deep-rooted, as I get older I see a pattern emerging; Sunday is pasta night, Monday mornings pepper rasam and in the evening chapati night, Tuesday morning is a garden inspired rasam and Fridays are becoming sandwich night.

On chapati night, I serve this simple dal, a quick guacamole and this cabbage carrot palya. It is a combination which goes well together and has become a regular on the table for years now.

I prefer to keep this palya simple, as it is normally served with other complex dishes. For a more deeply flavoured dish, add 1 tsp finely grated ginger, roughly chopped toasted cashews and a squeeze of lemon towards the end of cooking.

cabbage carrot palya

Serves 3 – 4, as a side dish


2 Tblsp peanut or coconut oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tblsp split channa dal

1 tsp split urad dal

12 curry leaves

2 – 4 Tblsp of water

3 cups/200g finely chopped cabbage

1 cup/80g loosely grated carrot

1 tsp fine rock salt

1 tsp jaggery

¼ cup/20g dried shredded coconut

to serve :

everyday simple yellow dal


preparation :

Finely chop the cabbage and peel and grate the carrot using the larger side of a box grater. Set aside.

In a heavy bottomed medium skillet, on medium-high heat add the oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds start to pop and turn grey, add the channa and urad dal, fry until slightly golden. Add in the curry leaves and allow to fry for a few seconds.

Turn down the heat, pour in the water and immediately add the cabbage. Cover and simmer the cabbage until cooked but still firm, stirring every few minutes – approximately 4 minutes. If there is any liquid on the bottom, uncover and increase the heat to high until it has evaporated.

Uncover the skillet and stir in the grated carrot. Allow to cook 1 – 2 minutes more, uncovered, stirring until the carrot is soft.

Season with the salt and jaggery, sprinkle in the dried coconut – combine well. If you like, add a small amount of finely chopped fresh coriander.

suggestions :

Use a variety of cabbage (Savoy Cabbage) with dark outer leaves for a variation in deep greens. It doesn’t affect the taste but the contrast is lovely.

variations :

In spring, add in fresh green sweet peas.

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