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Stir-Fried Green Cabbage with Fennel Seeds

February 3, 2019

By Kath Dedon

A few years ago I shared my take on Mark Bittman’s Cabbage Braised with Onions. It’s very good and we enjoy it whenever I make it.

Yesterday I made a very similar recipe, but it has a different flavor profile. Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe for Stir-Fried Green Cabbage with Fennel Seeds (Bhuni Bandh Gobi) is from her Quick and Easy Indian Cooking. Like Bittman, she uses cabbage, onion, and a bit of cayenne pepper. The cumin seeds, fennel seeds, sesame seeds, and garam masala that she adds gives the cabbage a very subtle Indian flavor.

We really liked the cabbage served with Uli’s Famous Sausage Hungarian Kolbasz.

(For those of you with an air fryer:  I air fried the sausage. Prick holes in one side of the sausages. Put them holes-side-down in the basket. Air fry at 375° for 8 minutes; turn over and  air fry for 8 more minutes. Perfect!)

I will happily make this Stir-Fried Green Cabbage with Fennel Seeds again! As Madhur Jaffrey points out in her book, it’s a great side dish with any meat.

(And…I just ate some leftover cabbage cold out of the refrigerator. It’s.really.good.)

Stir-Fried Green Cabbage with Fennel Seeds with Uli’s Hungarian Kolbasz

Stir-Fried Cabbage with Fennel Seeds and Uli's Hungarian Kolbasz


Stir-Fried Green Cabbage with Fennel Seeds

(Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe in Quick and Easy Indian Cooking)

(print the recipe)

Serves 4

1 medium head of green cabbage (1½ – 1¾ pounds)

¼ cup vegetable oil (I used avocado oil.)

¾ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

½ large white onion (about 7 ounces), thinly sliced crosswise

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 – ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used 1/4 tsp. and it wasn’t really too hot. Use less if you prefer.)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon garam masala


  1. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut it in half through the core, and then cut each half again through the core. Remove the core. Cut the cabbage in thin strips lengthwise.

Head of cabbage


2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the oil and let it heat up. When the oil is hot, add the cumin, fennel, and sesame seeds. Cook stirring often. When the sesame seeds start to pop, add the sliced onion.

Fennel seeds, cumin seeds, and sesame seeds


3. Cook the onion, stirring often, for 3 – 4 minutes or until the onion is just starting to brown.

Onions added


4. Add the cabbage to the pan. You’ll most likely have to add it in stages. Fill the pan with as much as you can, and cook, stirring, until it cooks down enough to add some more. Continue cooking, stirring, and adding more cabbage until it is all in the pan. Cook, stirring often for 4 – 5 more minutes, or until the cabbage is just starting to brown.

Cabbage added


5. Stir in the salt and cayenne pepper. Turn the heat down to medium and cook, stirring often, for another 7 – 8 minutes.

6. Stir in the lemon juice and the garam masala and serve.

Stir-Fried Cabbage with Fennel Seeds



2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2019 5:49 am

    Sausage and cabbage are classic combination, and for good reason, one we enjoy often in the winter months. The use of spices here intrigues me, will have to give it a go soon.

    • February 8, 2019 6:32 am

      The sum was certainly greater than the parts in this one, Frank. Hope you enjoy it!

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