Cabbage thoran is one of the popular side dishes for Kerala Sadya , be it Onam, Vishu or any festive season. It is also one of the common , easiest, delectable side dishes in Kerala household for lunch, it tastes best when served with rice, sambar and papad. Being a Keralite, this side dish was one of the first side dish I learnt to prepare while I started cooking for it is so simple to prepare.

I generally rest cabbage mixture on the counter for 10 minutes before preparing the dish. This delicious dish is made with coconut, cabbage and minimal spices, yet it tastes awesome

The beauty of the dish is that you can substitute cabbage with French beans/Carrot/ Beetroot/ash gourd/spinach etc and make respective thoran which is equally delectable in taste

*You can add chana dal and urad dal too for additional taste

** Coconut oil can be substituted with Veg oil but the flavour of the dish comes from Coconut oil

***If using desiccated coconut instead of grated coconut then add desiccated coconut towards the end of the dish preparation and cumin seeds should be added along with mustard seeds

***Never add water to cabbage for cooking. Cabbage will release sufficient moisture which is enough for it to cook. Adding water will make cabbage soggy

Do watch the video for better clarity in preparation and share your experience once you prepare the dish


  • 3-4 cups Cabbage, cleaned and shredded/grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped – optional
  • 4-5 shallots/ 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves
  • 3-4 green chilies, slit
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chana dal ( Split Bengal gram lentil) – optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon Urad dal ( Split Black gram lentil) – optional

Steps to prepare

  • Add cleaned,shredded/grated cabbage in a big bowl
  • Add turmeric, salt, green chilies, garlic , shallots to cabbage
  • With hands, mix thoroughly such that cabbage is well coated
  • Now add coconut and cumin seeds to grinder, pulse it just once, do not grind it
  • Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds
  • Optionally you can add Chana dal and Urad dal too for additional taste
  • Add curry leaves and saute for few seconds
  • Now add cabbage mixture to the pan and mix well
  • You can sprinkle little water so that cabbage does not stick to the bottom of the pan but do not add water to cabbage for cooking
  • Simmer, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes
  • Mixture should be dry and water should have evaporated
  • Now add coconut mixture and mix well
  • Stir fry for 4-5 minutes
  • Serve hot with sambar, rice and papad or even with chapathi
Kerala Cabbage Thoran
Posted by:Rekha Unni

Humble quirky soul embarking on beautiful journey of love called Life. Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies and I love experimenting with different types of foods. it's the love of cooking for my family which has made this hobby as one of my passions