This Gujarati Style Coconut Almond Warm Cabbage Salad is a healthy plant based dinner side or main! A spicy, sweet, crunchy, flavorful Indian inspired cabbage salad to enjoy at any meal. Pot luck friendly and easy to make! Paleo, Vegan, and even a Whole 30 option. Like whoa!
I’ve got a major crush on this vegan Gujarati Style Coconut Almond Warm Cabbage Salad. I think you will too. But I think you deserve the back story of how this warm cabbage salad and I first met. Let’s just say it was a FIREY foodie romance. Keep reading.
So, last year I had the chance to travel to Napa and cook at the Culinary Institute of America. The focus was exploring more healthy ways to use peanuts/nuts in recipes and cooking. Especially with plant based meals. Um, did I ever tell you about that? Ya, that was fun! Wine country was a plus! You know what I realized? How much of a scrappy cook I was in comparison to the chefs teaching us. No really, I was that girl. In fact, it was when I was assigned to make a Gujarati Style Coconut Cucumber Salad that my scrappy chef skills really shined. And when I say scrappy, I mean I might have almost caught the place on fire. Ha, I’ll explain more, don’t worry.
First, let’s talk about this Gujarati Style Coconut Almond Warm Cabbage Salad. I’m sure you’re wondering what it is and how it’s made. Right?
Gujarati, which is a state of India, has some the oldest culinary treasures of India and it’s cuisine is mainly vegetarian. Since it’s a hot dry climate, they use a lot of pickled dishes, like chutneys, spices (mild and spicy), and sweet/sour combos. In other words, my HEAVEN!
So you can think of this Gujarati Style Cabbage Salad like a sauerkraut meets kimchi meets coleslaw. Ya, it’s EPIC! I promise you that. Fried or “popped” mustard seeds, coconut, cabbage, toasted almonds, carrot, red peppers and cooked and mixed in a sweet vinegar sauce.
Which leads me back to this Culinary Institute story and how I almost burned down the place. Don’t worry, everyone lived. And my dish was delicious! Or so I aim to please.
Continuing with this recipe romance back story. I was assigned to make a peanut Gujarati cucumber salad. Gujarati style salads involve popping mustard seeds in a pan with oil, you then combine it with the salad for a dressing an extra crunch. It’s amazing. It’s also fun to make because you watch them pop!
It’s fun unless you forget that you have a pan of hot oil (for the mustard seeds) sitting on the stove while prepping the salad vegetables. Ya, I was that girl who left the pan of oil on high then went to cut the cucumbers. When I came back to add the mustard seeds, the pan had caught fire. Not like huge fire, but you know, the kind that make you say “HOLY SCHMOLY!” 2 seconds later one of the chef’s at the institute put a lid on it and out the fire went. I was sweating up a storm from embarrassment. Alas, the mustard seed popping party did continue, and I WATCHED the pan like a hawk. I’m just glad they gave me a second chance! Haha, didn’t want to be that girl who burnt down the kitchen while making a salad… a SALAD!
Anyway, this Gujarati Style Coconut Almond Warm Cabbage Salad is my Cotter Comeback Gujarati Salad. It’s my, do as I say, not as I
do did, salad. I’m happy to report that my kitchen is intact and this cabbage salad is actually better than my first. Yes, the only heat coming from my kitchen were the peppers, LOL! Phew! I’m way more comfortable cooking in my kitchen. Which makes for better food, in my opinion.
This Gujarati Style Coconut Almond Warm Cabbage Salad is sweet/spicy/sour and comes together in about 20 minutes. The cool thing is that you can make it as spicy or mild as you want. It’s paleo, vegan, but more importantly, it’s just plain TASTY! I served it warm but it also make a great leftover “slaw” type of salad. Perfect for March, don’t you think? With all the cabbage and st. patty’s day festivities.
Any who, now you know what Gujarati Style cuisine is and how to not burn down your kitchen. You’re welcome!
Now get your cabbage salad makin’ skills ready! Mmm k?
Gujarati Style Coconut Almond Warm Cabbage Salad is a healthy plant-based dinner side or main!
- 1 head Napa cabbage (core removed) shredded or chopped in processor “riced”
- 1 large carrot (2 medium) shredded
- 3/4 cup to 1 cup almond, chopped and toasted
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded (toasted)
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 2 -3 tsp mustard seed
- 1/4 tsp or more Salt and black or white pepper (to taste)
- 1-2 tbsp oil (avocado or coconut oil work best)
- 2-3 green or spicy red chili peppers, sliced
- 1/2 – 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or juice of lime
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar (optional)
- Cilantro to garnish/tabasco
- Wash vegetables. Chip cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Shred cabbage in processor or finely chop. You can place a quarter at a time in the food processor.
- Chop, shred carrot. Slice your peppers. Remove seeds if you don’t want spicy.
- Place cabbage in bowl. Remove excess water from cabbage by pressing a paper towel on top. Drain bowl of excess water.
- Add carrot to cabbage mix. Then mix in your salt, pepper, garlic.
- Chop your almonds unless you buy pre chopped.
- If you are toasting your coconut and almonds, preheat oven to 400F. Quickly toast your coconut and almonds
- on a lined baking tray for 5 minutes or until golden brown coconut. Almonds will just be lightly toasted. Remove and set aside. See notes for quick toasting.
- Next heat a large frying pan with your oil over medium.
- Add mustard seed and cover slightly with top so they don’t pop out.
- Once they start “popping”, add your cabbage, carrot, peppers, 1/4 tsp salt and white pepper. Mix together.
- Next add optional coconut/palm sugar, apple cider vinegar or lime juice, and 3/4 cup of your almonds/coconut mix. Save some for the garnish/topping.
- Mix and cook 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
- Remove from heat and place into large bowl. Garnish with extra almond/coconut, cilantro and tabasco if desired. Serve into bowls or family style. Extra salt/pepper if desired.
*Note: Quick toast in toaster oven. Spread almonds and coconut together on lined toaster oven tray. Toast for 3-5 minutes in toasted oven @ 350-400F.
If you can’t find spicy red or green chili peppers, you can use thai birds eye peppers or jalapeños.
This keeps well for a few days covered in fridge.
If you are wanting a whole 30 dish , omit sugar.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 219
- Sodium: 239.3mg
- Fat: 17g
- Saturated Fat: 3.7g
- Carbohydrates: 12.9g
- Fiber: 5.9g
- Protein: 8.2g
Keywords: cabbage salad
Ya’ll, check out that Vitamin C dosage! I cold busting warm cabbage salad! Ha! But I digress… back to the Gujarati goodness!
Have you ever tried an Gujarati Style dish?
Favorite cabbage dish? Do share!