Red Lentils with Spicy White Cabbage

This dish is so much more than the sum of its parts – the cabbage becomes meltingly savoury. The brassica family of which cabbage is a member are full of nutrients that help protect our cells against cancer, our brains against dementia, and help our livers do their amazing job! Serve as a side with fish, or with a salad and raita for dinner, or for lunch with wholegrain rice, pitta or flat bread.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: lentils
Servings: 4 Servings


  • 200 g red lentils
  • 1.15 litres water
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2-4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 75 g onion finely sliced
  • 225 g white cabbage finely shredded
  • 1-2 fresh green chillies finely sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 110 g tinned or fresh chopped tomato
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger grated


  • Put the lentils and water in a pot and bring to the boil. Skim off any scum that appears at the top.
  • Stir in the turmeric, and cover the pan, leaving the lid slightly ajar and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Stir now and again towards the end.
  • Heat the oil in another pan. When hot, add the cumin seeds and garlic and as soon as the garlic starts to brown, add the onions, cabbage, salt and chillies.
  • Stir fry the mixture until the cabbage is cooked through - about ten minutes.
  • Now return to the lentils – add the tomato and ginger, cover and cook for a further 10 minutes,
  • Stir in the cabbage mixture, and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes until it is fully heated through.