Curried Cabbage with Whole Masoor

Evenings in my kitchen sound something like this:

Me to Desi: “So what would you like for dinner tonight?”
Desi: “Kuch bhi chalega” (Anything will do)
Me: How about something light, like an upma?
Desi: Mmmmm…okay. (Translation: Not really)
Me: It’s too late for dosas, but what about some sambar and rice and bhaji, although you just had that yesterday.
Desi: Fine
(Translation: No)
Me (hopefully): Potato chips and cookies?
Desi: No!
Me: Okay baba, I’ll just come up with something on my own, but don’t complain later.
Desi: I can’t promise that!

As you can tell, I don’t get much help in picking out what to cook from my picky eater. And left to my own devices, I tend to think up recipes as I peer into the vegetable bin in my refrigerator at what’s still there and not yet growing something.

This week, with barely an hour to put dinner together, I pulled out an uninspiring half a head of cabbage (left over after making this paruppu usili) that I knew I had to use up fast. Then I peered into my bean and lentil pantry.

Voila, a jar of whole masoor that I hadn’t touched in a while! =”separator”>

I love masoor which is a really pretty-to-look-at and rich-flavored lentil that does extraordinarily well when teamed with vegetables and spices. So Cabbage Masoor Curry it was for dinner.And what a great idea that was!

I saved a lot of time by cooking up the masoor in a pressure cooker along with the cabbage and a few spices. The cabbage cooked up into buttery-soft goodness, and all I had to do was saute some onions and the sambar powder and add it to the dal.

So here’s the recipe, and here’s looking forward to the two best days of the week: Saturday and Sunday!

Enjoy, all!

Cabbage Masoor Curry

(Makes eight very hearty servings)


1/2 head of a large cabbage, cut into medium to thin shreds

3/4 cup whole masoor (These are round brown lentils with a pink interior that cooks up yellow– you can easily find them at any Indian grocery store. I often see cooks confuse them with French Puy lentils, but they are not the same. Masoor is nuttier, while puy lentils are mottled and smaller and tend to be peppery-tasting.)

2 green chillies, chopped

1 tbsp grated ginger

6-7 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 tsp turmeric

2 tomatoes, diced

1 heaping tbsp sambar powder

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tsp canola or other vegetable oil

Place all the ingredients other than the sambar powder, onions and canola oil in a pressure cooker and cook until really tender. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, place the ingredients in a large pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, turn the heat so the mixture just simmers, and cook until the lentils are really tender (this may take almost an hour).

Heat the oil in another skillet.

Add the onions and saute until they start to brown.

Add the sambar powder and stir it to mix, about 1 minute.

Add the onions and sambar powder to the cooked masoor and cabbage.

Add salt to taste.=”separator”>

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

15 thoughts on “Curried Cabbage with Whole Masoor

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 27, 2010 at 4:11pm

    Very simple,hearty and healthy dal. I like to use sambar powder in my dals too.

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    February 27, 2010 at 7:36pm

    We have similar talks in our house too.. Other than commenting on what I cook, my husband is not very helpful in actually deciding a menu..
    Cabbage with masoor dal is a new combo to me, will give a try.

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    February 27, 2010 at 10:03pm

    Even I too hear the words :hmmm…ok and fine” so many times here :( especially after a long day out! dhal looks tasty and comforting…nice vibrant color :) I have never tried adding cabbage to dhal, I will try your recipe soon.

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    Daisy Blue

    February 27, 2010 at 11:27pm

    That might look like a funny conversation but I really know how you will feel ;)
    Nice click!

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    February 28, 2010 at 3:42am

    “Kuch bhi chalega” is so common in our house too. This curry does sound like a life saver Vaishali. Unsusal combi yet so wholesome and good. :-)

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    DJ Karma

    February 28, 2010 at 5:51am

    That looks amazing- I’ll have to try the masoor.

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 28, 2010 at 11:59am

    Dal with cabbage looks really comforting and yumm!

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    February 28, 2010 at 12:06pm

    Come and cook for me. I’m not a picky eater and I think any picky eater could be lucky to taste your food. Especially this. Thank you for the recipe.

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    Trinity (of haiku tofu)

    February 28, 2010 at 7:19pm

    Haha, that sounds like conversations in my house. We’re not so much picky eaters as we are indecisive eaters!

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    March 1, 2010 at 12:50am

    Very wholesome and yum ! The conversation sounded a bit like the ones we have, in fact the reaction to upma from R is exactly the same:-)

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    March 2, 2010 at 11:10pm

    Very nice and wholesome recipe.Will try soon. Btw I tried ur Eggless frankie and Navaratan kurma this weekend.It tasted very good.Thanks for sharing these recipes.


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    March 15, 2010 at 7:55pm

    This sounds wonderful, Vaishali! I think that planning is worse than other kinds of work. Cooking is easier and fun.
    I am surprised that you used a pressure cooker! You usually microwave lentils, dont you? You got me converted to microwaving lentils and dried beans, actually, hehehe!

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