Punjabi Style Cabbage + Chickpeas

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Do you like cabbage? If you already do, you are going to love this. If you don’t, I challenge you to give this a try, especially if you like Indian flavors and spices. This dish was inspired by the hot foods bar at our local Whole Foods Market.

We go there all the time, primarily to food shop and my son loves to eat lunch there. He always gets the same thing (he is such a creature of habit like his Dad!); tandoori chicken, coconut rice, Moroccan carrots, a side of watermelon and ice water.

Yep, the water has to have ice in it or its no bueno.

I started getting their Punjabi Cabbage for myself and got really sick of paying $7.99 / lb for cabbage with spices. Ridiculous right? So, I looked up about ten different Punjabi Cabbage recipes and while they were all different, the ingredients and spices were similar across the board.

The first couple of times that I made this dish, I made it without the chickpeas but I frequently found myself wanting more texture and really like the idea of adding additional protein.

If you are newer to Indian cooking and spices, here is a great article explaining them in more detail.


  • I consider this dish to be “spicy”. If you want it “medium spicy”, slice the jalapeno in half first and remove all of the seeds before thinly slicing. If you want it “mild”, omit the jalapeno.
  • MEAL PLAN: This is excellent alongside Spiced Coconut Rice and Curry Chicken OR Indian Spiced Chicken Wraps

5.0 from 6 reviews
Punjabi Style Cabbage + Chickpeas
3 Points Plus Per Serving -- Serves 8 (as a side dish)
Serves: 8
  • 1.5 tablespoons safflower oil or coconut oil
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1" piece ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1 3-lb head organic green cabbage
  • 2¼ teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1.5 cups (1 15-ounce) can garbanzo beans
  • ⅛ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance (or Butter)
  • cilantro for serving
  1. Toss the garlic and ginger in the bowl of the food processor and process until chopped. Add peeled, quartered onion and pulse just a few times until there are no large chunks but onion is left in bigger pieces.
  2. Thinly slice the jalapeno. I suggest wearing disposable kitchen gloves. See NOTE above regarding spiciness.
  3. Remove the core of the cabbage by slicing in half and using a knife to trim around the core section.
  4. Roughly chop the cabbage.
  5. Finally, measure spices, rinse and drain beans (if using canned) and get out oil and butter.
  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add in oil and then garlic, ginger, jalapeno and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes until soft and fragrant.
  2. Add in spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Now add cabbage, beans and water. Mix to coat cabbage, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. The cabbage should reduce to more than half and you may not be able to coat the leaves with the spice mixture until a few minutes until the cooking/reduction.
  4. Remove lid and continue cooking over high heat for another 3 to 5 minutes to allow remaining liquid to evaporate. Once done, remove from heat and toss in butter.
  5. Serve with cilantro leaves and Enjoy!



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  1. Anna says

    I have the Instant Pot Duo 6. I chose this one because it comes with a stainless steel liner as opposed to a non-stick aluminum liner and I have been very pleased with it. They have a newer model out now though (a bluetooth connected one that you can control from your smartphone). And there are lots of coupon codes for discounts out there if you order from the Instant Pot website. (Hippressurecooking.com has one as does the Eat to Live FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/160489884083690/)

  2. Anna says

    If you do get a pressure cooker, it will change your life (your cooking life, at least). They are awesome! I am enjoying cooking for the first time in my life (which is sad, but true).

  3. Anna says

    I just made this in my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker and it is fabulous. I had made chick peas from dried in the pressure cooker this morning so I had those on hand. I did everything per your instructions up to adding the cabbage. After I sauteed the onions, jalapenos, ginger, spices, etc. in the pressure cooker pot, I added 1/4 cup of chicken broth (water would work as well) instead of an 1/8 cup of water. Then I put the cabbage on top (and it was really full, but that is okay in the pressure cooker for loose things like cabbage or kale). The I set the cooker for high pressure for 4 minutes and then did a quick release. After removing the lid I stirred it well and added the already cooked chickpeas and butter. It turned out fabulous! I love it.

  4. Blair says

    I looked up recipes for Punjabi Cabbage precisely because I just got some from the hot bar at Whole Foods! Along with samplings of other fab Indian dishes. Thanks so much for sharing your creation!

  5. Jenny says

    This was wonderful! I’m so glad I found this recipe. I only had a red cabbage but it worked just fine. I served this with the spiced coconut rice and they were great together as a complete meal. I will definitely add a little more jalapeño next time. This will be going in our regular rotation. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  6. Judy says

    My boyfriend and I had a spicy cabbage dish yesterday at an Indian restaurant and loved it so much we looked up the recipe today to make it for dinner. We were excited to come across your recipe and decided to give it a shot. It ended up being delicious, especially with the garlic naan we had. :) A few main differences between it and what we had yesterday. It was milder than the restaurant version by quite a bit (theirs was chock full of jalapeno) so we ended up adding crushed red pepper to make it spicier, which we liked a lot. We love spice! Also, the restaurant version was quite salty, so it was nice to be able to adjust that as we saw fit. I didn’t add the chickpeas, as I forgot them at the store, but I can definitely see that they would have been a good addition. Extra nutrition is always nice! One last thing.: this dish had more of a sweetness to it than what we had yesterday, maybe due to the yellow onion. Maybe I’d try it with white onion next time… who knows. I’d definitely put in an extra jalapeno, and my boyfriend thinks we should have an extra couple of jalapenos. Ha – seems like a bit much to me. We paid $10 for one dish of this yesterday, but making it at home today we paid maybe $4 for about 5 servings… what a deal! Great recipe! Thank you!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Judy!
      I am right there with you – I personally like my food HOT but I always tone it down when I post as I have found that most people like mild to medium food. Red Onion works well and also adds a bit more of a kick so try that ;). Thanks for leaving me a comment and letting me know how the recipe worked out for you!

  7. Lydia says

    I made this tonight and it was delicious! To suit family taste I toned down the spices and onions, etc. a bit, and I didn’t have all of the spices in the house, and it was still delicious! I even skipped the Earth Balance although I expect that makes it even better.

    I added some missing spices to my shopping list, so I’ll have them next time.

    Thank you for the great recipe and helpful photos and instructions!

    • EverydayMaven says

      A little bit of Butter or Earth Balance at the end is really nice for rounding out some of the spices and adding a touch of creaminess. So glad you enjoyed it!

  8. JuneC says

    Ate this for lunch again! I feel so healthy (except I added a large blob of sour cream, but I also sprinkled some nutritional yeast on the top) I was reading your recipe for pop corn and remembered I had bought nutritional yeast as an impulse purchase and then almost promptly forgot to use it! I have now taken it out of the cabinet and set it next to the salt and pepper shaker.

    I am still stuck on this chili thing. I did some research and read that if it ends in an i it is a blend, if it ends in a e it is pure pepper. Yet, when I looked at the chile power on Everest the description uses chil E mostly but also uses the chiL i. Most confusing but I think I now know what to look for and that is pure chile powder.

    I really have beaten this subject to death. Have a great day to you too

    • EverydayMaven says

      Nothing like getting multiple meals out of a recipe – the sour cream sounds like a nice addition to cut the heat a bit. Have a great weekend June!

  9. JuneC says

    Thank you. I don’t remember how much cumin I used I just know that I reduced it considerably because I was afraid the flavor would be too strong. Guess I am glad I did. I am so surprised that no one else questioned this. I read all the reviews to see what others said.

    My grocery store did not carry cumin seed (the store, Publix, has a large spice section) is there any chance that this is know by another name?

    The chili power I used is a blend from what I read about the Everest it is pure chilies, no added spices. I went to The Everest web site but the cost of shipping is much, much, more than I care to spend. I wrote to Everest to see if they could give me the name of a store that carries the spice in my area. There is a large India population here. Is the red pepper chili hot or mild? Could I substitute Cayenne Pepper? I did use the whole jalapeno, it was spicy/ hot but after the first few bites you mouth is numb and it no longer burns :>)

    And finally my review. It was delicious my son (grown man) and I both loved it. Has it last light and then again today for lunch (Today I added a can of black beans to stretch it)

    This certainly did turn out to be a very long post

    PS is there a box I could have checked to see when others post about this recipe?

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi June! So glad it turned out good and you both loved it!

      I have never seen cumin seeds by any other name. McCormick is usually available at Publix – this is what theirs looks like.

      As for the Red Chili Powder, try a local Indian or Pakistani grocery store or Penzey’s Spices (if you live near one). Otherwise, I would just use regular Mexican Chili Powder. Definitely do NOT sub cayenne or you will guzzling gallons of water 😉

      There is a box to see all replies and it looks like you have it checked so you should be good to go.

      Thanks for your feedback and have a great day!

  10. JuneC says

    I have the cabbage cooking on the stove now it smells good.

    A couple of questions. When you say “red chili powder” do you mean the chili powder that is used to make chili? I am not familiar with cumin so I reduced the amount I used. Did you mean Tablespoons of cumin not teaspoons? It sounded like a lot of cumin to me

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi June,
      I hope it turned out great! Red Chili Powder is commonly sold at Indian grocery stores and can also be bought online. If I don’t have any in the pantry, I sub regular Chili Powder (like the kind used to make chili). As for the cumin, thank you for pointing that out – it should say 2 teaspoons, I just corrected it.

  11. Susan says

    Why yes it was. The ingredients in the Patak’s was pretty similar so instead of not making it I took the chance with the paste and it worked. I did add a bit of cumin and the chili powder but that was it for the spices.

  12. Susan says

    I didn’t have all of the spices so I used some curry paste that I purchased for another one of your recipes. It turned out great.

    • EverydayMaven says

      Then you are going to love this! It would be a great side to some of those amazing Indian dishes you posted last month :)

  13. Eha says

    Love cabbage and food can’t be ‘spicy’ enough for me: so this is right up my alley! Mostly use Chinese cabbage tho’ – am certain that too will work :) !

    • EverydayMaven says

      I think Napa / Chinese cabbage will work – I would just cut it into bigger pieces since it tends to shrink a bit more.

    • EverydayMaven says

      I wouldn’t keep it more than a day or two Norma – kind of like cooked broccoli or any cruciferous veg if you know what I mean 😉

  14. says

    Hmm I don’t think I’ve ever seen this at our whole foods! I’m always looking for new ways to use cabbage…and I love anything smothered in Indian spices! YUM.

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