Here, the cabbage is finely shredded and barely cooked. It is delightfully light—part salad and part vegetable dish. It may be served hot, warm, at room temperature, or cold. You could put it on a plate with stuffed Indian pancakes or omelets, or serve it as part of any meal.

    For shredding the cabbage, I prefer to use one of the newer, lighter mandolines. Some are made in Japan, but OXO makes an excellent one too. You could also use your food processor or just cut it by hand. I like to use a bread knife for cutting cabbage.

    SERVES 6


    • 1 small green cabbage (about 1½ lbs)
    • 1–3 fresh hot green chilies, finely chopped
    • 2½ tablespoons olive or peanut oil
    • ¾ teaspoon whole brown mustard seeds
    • 7–8 fresh curry leaves, lightly crushed in your hand
    • 1–1¼ teaspoons salt
    • 3–4 teaspoons lemon juice

    1. Remove the damaged outer leaves of the cabbage. Quarter it lengthwise and remove the hard core. Now shred it or cut it into slivers ⅛ inch thick. You should have about 1¼ lbs. Place it in a bowl and add the green chilies.

    2. Put the oil in a wok or large, wide pan and set over medium heat. As soon as it is hot, add the mustard seeds. When they pop, in a matter of seconds, add the curry leaves (take care, as they will splutter), quickly followed by the cabbage mixture. Stir and fry until the cabbage has just wilted, about 2–3 minutes.

    3. Lower the heat and add the salt and lemon juice. Stir thoroughly, then turn off the heat. The cabbage should be wilted but still crunchy. Taste the balance of flavors and adjust as necessary.