South African Cabbage Curry Recipe


South African cabbage curry, as I know it; is a mild yet piquant dish. Cabbage curry, like Amma used to make it, was what she termed ‚’braised cabbage’. Thinly sliced cabbage steamed in fried onion and dried chillies. The dish often contained potatoes. It formed part of the vegetable trio
of pumpkin and mixed vegetable curry for porridge prayers. It is prepared in the same manner as watercress curry and has a likeness to pumpkin curry, except it does not contain spices whole or otherwise. It got it’s slightly sharp taste from dried chilli and a sweetness from the cabbage and onions. This simple vegetable curry can be served on its own or as a vegetable accompaniment to meat.  It can be enjoyed on its own or with roti or phutu.


How to Make Cabbage Curry

Amma’s version of braised cabbage starts with fried onion and dried chillies. It contains potatoes.


These are added to the fried onions then covered with thinly sliced cabbage and a little water to steam the potatoes and cabbage in the cooking process.


After 20 minutes of steaming the lid has to be removed to evaporate any remaining water. Cabbage is best enjoyed when it is slightly brown to give this dish its sweet taste from caramelized cabbage and onion.

Braised Cabbage Recipe

Author: Food Like Amma Used to Make It
South African Cabbage Curry Recipe

South African Cabbage Curry Recipe

Prep time: 5 MCook time: 25 MTotal time: 30 M
South African cabbage curry is lightly spiced yet piquant from the use of dry chillies. It is best served with soft roti, rice or phutu.


  • half a head of cabbage
  • 2 medium potatoes (cut into quarters)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • desired limit dry chillies (I used 3 birds eye chillies)
  • salt
  • half a cup of water


  1. Prepare the vegetables, wash and slice the cabbage and onions fine.
  2. Heat a pot on medium heat.
  3. Add oil. Add onions. Fry until soft and slightly brown.
  4. Add dry chillies.
  5. Add potatoes.
  6. Add cabbage.
  7. Pour water over cabbage.
  8. Cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes on medium to low heat.
  9. Remove the pot lid and allow to dry. Cabbage should be slightly brown and potatoes are soft.
  10. Serve warm.
Did you make this recipe?
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Two of Amma‘s other cabbage curry varieties were Mutton and Cabbage curry and yellow cabbage dumplings.

Mutton and Cabbage

Mutton and Cabbage, is a simple way to make a meat curry on a budget. Either using off cuts of meat or ones from the freezer. The cabbage not only adds taste but also adds quantity making it a hearty family meal.

Yellow cabbage

This was Amma’s basis for making dumplings. The cabbage was braised with turmeric to give its bright yellow colour. Dumplings were then steamed over the cabbage. A perfect accompaniment to tin fish curry or Kidney Beans Curry


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