Savor the vibrant fusion of crisp red cabbage tossed in a tantalizing blend of spices, punctuated by the heat of serrano chile, the zest of mustard seeds, the warmth of cumin, and an exotic note of shredded coconut—a delicious dance of flavors and textures that brings a burst of South Asian flair to your table.
In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds and cook over moderate heat just until they begin to pop, about 30 seconds. Add the cumin and curry leaves and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cabbage and turmeric and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the water and cook until the water is evaporated and the cabbage is tender, 5 to 6 minutes longer. Discard the bay leaves, if using.
Meanwhile, in a mini food processor, add the garlic, chile, coconut and remaining 1/4 cup of water and pulse to a paste.
Scrape the paste into the skillet and toss to coat the red cabbage. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Season with salt and serve.
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
10 fresh curry leaves or 2 bay leaves
One 2-pound red cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped (8 cups)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
3/4 cup water
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 serrano chile, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup finely shredded dried coconut (1 1/2 ounces)