Muttaikose Poriyal| Cabbage Curry

Muttaikose Poriyal refers to a dry curry made using cabbage, South Indian style. Redolent of coconut and mildly spiced with green chillies, this poriyal is quite flavourful. This simple dish is a big favourite at our place, often finding a place on our table.

Muttaikose Poriyal or Cabbage Curry

A little more about Muttaikose Poriyal

Muttaikose Poriyal is a simple dish that can be made with the most basic of ingredients. It can be made in a matter of minutes, and yet, like I was saying, it is packed with flavour.

This is an everyday curry, making for a beautiful accompaniment to rice served with sambar or rasam. It is also an important constituent of a banana-leaf spread on various religious and festive occasions. Typically, Muttaikose Poriyal made without onion and garlic is often a much-loved part of a plantain-leaf meal on festivals like Vishu, Onam and Tamil New Year. It is also quite commonly served during meals in South Indian weddings and poojas.

What goes into this Muttaikose Poriyal?

There’s cabbage – ‘Muttaikose‘ in Tamil – of course, the star ingredient of this poriyal. The poriyal starts with a tempering of mustard seeds, green chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves. Once cooked, a garnish of fresh grated coconut and finely chopped coriander goes in. Can you imagine the heady fragrance and gorgeous taste these ingredients lend to the dish?

The making of Muttaikose Poriyal or Cabbage Curry

Here is how we go about it.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  1. A small head of cabbage, roughly 3 cups when finely chopped
  2. 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  3. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  4. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  5. 2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
  6. 3-4 green chillies
  7. Salt to taste
  8. 1/2 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste (optional)
  9. 1/2 cup of fresh grated coconut or as per taste
  10. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander


1. Slit the green chillies length-wise. Keep the curry leaves, grated coconut and finely chopped coriander ready.

2. Chop the cabbage finely. Keep ready.

3. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter. Now, add in the asafoetida, curry leaves and slit green chillies. Allow these ingredients to stay in for a few seconds.

4. Now, add the chopped cabbage to the pan. Add in a little salt and about 1/2 cup of water. Mix well.

5. Now, reduce the flame to medium. Cover the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes or till the cabbage is almost 80% cooked. Uncover in between to check on the cabbage, stirring it up. Add more water if required.

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Above leftmost bottom: Steps 3, Leftmost bottom: Step 4, Bottom right: Step 5

6. When the cabbage is almost 80% done, add in the jaggery powder (if using) and adjust the salt. Mix well.

7. Cover and continue to cook on medium flame till the cabbage is completely cooked, 1-2 minutes more. The water should have completely dried up by now. If not, stir-fry on high flame, uncovered, for a minute or so.

8. When the cabbage has cooked through and is completely dry, add in the grated coconut. Mix well. Switch off gas.

9. Mix in the finely chopped coriander as well. Your Muttaikose Poriyal is ready. Serve it with rice and rasam/sambar.

Top left: The cabbage, when about 80% done, Top right: Step 6, Above leftmost bottom: Step 7, Leftmost bottom: Step 8, Bottom right: Step 9

Is this recipe vegan and gluten-free?

This is a completely vegetarian and vegan preparation, suited to those following a plant-based diet.

To make it gluten-free, simply skip the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most Indian brands of asafoetida contain wheat flour and are, therefore, best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you could definitely go ahead and use it.

Tips & Tricks

1. Use coconut oil for the tempering, for best results.

2. Adjust the amount of coconut you use, as per personal taste preferences.

3. Some people add some urad dal and dry red chillies to the tempering. I prefer not to.

4. Using jaggery is optional. We add it, in our family, as we love the flavour it imparts to the Muttaikose Poriyal.

5. We do not use turmeric powder in our Muttaikose Poriyal, so as to retain its white colour. If you want to use some, you can definitely go ahead.

6. Do not overcook the cabbage. It should be cooked through, but not overly mushy.

7. Make sure all the water you have used to cook the cabbage evaporates. At the same day, don’t keep the Poriyal too dry either. It tastes best when neither too watery nor too dry.

8. Adjust the number of green chillies you use, as per personal taste preferences. The only heat in this Cabbage Curry comes from the green chillies.

9. You can also use green peas and/or onion in this Muttaikose Poriyal. We do this occasionally. However, when this poriyal is prepared for a religious occasion, we skip the onion.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!


8 thoughts on “Muttaikose Poriyal| Cabbage Curry

  1. I’m not a big fan of cabbage especially if its overcooked or mushy. However, love how your cabbage poriyal or stir fry looks… so delicious. Adding coconut and the flavour of curry leaves… making my mouth water.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s