Cabbage rice is a one-pot dish that combines the wholesome goodness of cabbage with the satisfying comfort of rice. This easy-to-make recipe is perfect for a quick, nutritious, and flavorful meal. Naturally gluten-free and vegan, this Instant Pot cabbage pulao is ready in less than 30 minutes, with less than 10 minutes of hands-on time.
South Indian cabbage rice or cabbage pulao is a healthy one-pot dish made with minimal spices. Naturally gluten-free and vegan, this cabbage rice is very easy to make and can be paired with dal, kadhi, tomato pickle, or raita. When made in an Instant Pot, it is ready in less than 30 minutes, with less than 10 minutes of hands-on time.
Cabbage pulao is great for meal prep and can be made ahead, making it perfect for parties, gatherings, picnics, and potlucks. This nutritious and delicious cabbage pulao is a great way to include healthy cabbage in your diet.
Nutrient-packed cabbage is considered one of the healthiest vegetables. This versatile vegetable is packed with nutrients and antioxidants and is high in fiber. It is also high in vitamin C and folate. This Instant Pot cabbage rice is a great way of adding cabbage to your diet, especially for picky eaters. Read on for ingredients, step-by-step instructions, meal prep options, and useful tips to make this easy cabbage pilaf.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Healthy and nutritious: This dish is packed with the health benefits of cabbage, which is considered one of the healthiest vegetables. Cabbage is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, and folates.
- Minimal spices: This recipe uses minimal spices, allowing the natural flavors of the cabbage to shine through. It makes the dish simple yet flavorful.
- Gluten-free and vegan: Cabbage rice is naturally gluten-free and vegan, making it suitable for individuals with dietary restrictions or preferences.
- Quick and easy: With the use of an Instant Pot, this recipe can be prepared in less than 30 minutes, with minimal hands-on time. It is a convenient option for busy individuals or those looking for a hassle-free cooking experience.
- Meal prep friendly: Instant Pot cabbage rice is ideal for meal prep as it can be made ahead of time and reheated when needed. It is suitable for parties, gatherings, picnics, and potlucks, providing a wholesome and delicious option.
Related: South Indian lemon rice.
Cabbage: Finely shredded green cabbage must be used. See the tips section below on how to select cabbage.
Rice: I use Basmati rice; however, any Indian variety medium grain rice (like sona masoori rice) can be used. Brown rice also works well with this dish. Keep in mind that the cooking time may vary if the rice is changed.
Spices: The spices used are mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafetida (hing), and turmeric powder.
Cashew: It adds a nice crunch and texture to the rice; however, it is optional and can be skipped.
Peas: Fresh or frozen green peas can be used. You may also choose to skip it. Other veggies that can be added to this cabbage pulao recipe are bell peppers, carrots, and corn kernels.
Garnish: Coriander leaves (cilantro), coconut (fresh or frozen), and lemon/lime juice.
Step 1: Heat olive oil and add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Add cashews and fry until they are golden. Add ginger, chili, and curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds (image 1).
Step 2: Add shredded or finely chopped cabbage, peas, turmeric powder, and salt. Saute for 2-3 minutes (images 2 and 3).
Step 3: Drain the water from the soaked rice and add it to the pot (image 4).
Step 4: Add 2½ cups of water and give it a good mix. Close the lid and pressure cook on high for 6 minutes (images 5 and 6).
Step 5: Do a quick release of the pressure and open the lid once the pin drops. Add lemon juice, cilantro, and coconut (images 7 and 8).
Step 6: Mix the cooked rice gently (image 9).
This dish is great for meal prep. Wash and soak the rice overnight, cut the cabbage, and store it in the refrigerator. This way, they can be quickly prepared in the morning and packed for lunch boxes.
Shred the cabbage thinly and evenly. If you chop them, they may not cook evenly and will also impact the texture of the final dish. I like to use a food processor for this as it gives me perfectly sliced cabbage.
I like to add cashews to this dish, which gives a nice texture. This is optional and can be skipped for a nut-free version.
Use Basmati rice or any variety of long-grain rice to make this dish. Also, it is important to wash the rice thoroughly and soak the rice for 20-30 minutes.
Select cabbage that is firm and dense. It should feel heavy and should be free from any blemishes or spots. The cabbage leaves must be tightly packed and must be bright and crisp. Make sure that there are only a few leaves that are free from the head, and the rest should be tightly packed. You can also use red cabbage or purple cabbage for this cabbage pulao recipe.
You can make this dish in a stovetop pressure cooker. Follow this recipe with a 1 to 1.5 rice-to-water ratio and cook for two whistles in the stovetop pressure cooker. To make this dish in a stovetop pan, follow this recipe with a 1 to 1.5 rice-to-water ratio and cook covered for 15-18 minutes (or until all the moisture is absorbed).
What to serve with cabbage rice?
This Instant Pot cabbage rice pairs well with a variety of dishes and accompaniments. Here are some of my favorites:
Raita: Raita is a yogurt-based condiment that complements the flavors of this dish. You can make cucumber raita, tomato-onion raita, or any other variety.
Dal: Serve cabbage pulao with a side of dal fry or any other dal of your choice. This adds a protein element to make it a well-rounded meal.
Kadhi: Kadhi is a yogurt-based curry often paired with rice. Its tangy and mildly spiced flavors go well with this dish.
Pickles: Cabbage rice goes well with any Indian pickle, adding a tangy and spicy element to the meal. You can serve it with traditional Indian pickles like mango tomato or mixed vegetable pickles.
Papad or Poppadoms: Papads are thin and crispy lentil wafers that add a crunchy texture and can be enjoyed plain or roasted.
More South Indian rice recipes:
Click here for more Instant Pot recipes.
How to store cabbage rice?
Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This dish also freezes well and can be stored in the freezer for 2-3 months.
- Cool the rice: Allow the cabbage rice to cool down to room temperature before storing.
- Use airtight containers: Transfer the cooled rice to an airtight container. This helps to maintain its freshness and prevents it from absorbing any odors from the refrigerator.
- Divide into portions: If you plan on consuming the cabbage rice over multiple meals, divide it into portions. This makes it easier to take out and reheat only the amount you need.
- Storing in the refrigerator: Place the airtight containers with cabbage pulao in the refrigerator as soon as possible. Cabbage rice can be stored for up to 5 days.
- Storing in the freeze: Label the containers with the date of freezing. Make sure they are sealed properly to prevent freezer burn. Place the containers in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Reheat properly: You can reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop by adding a little water or oil to prevent it from drying out. When you are ready to enjoy the frozen cabbage rice, transfer it to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. Once thawed, you can reheat it in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven. Add a little water or oil as needed to prevent it from drying out during reheating.
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Cabbage Rice in Instant Pot
- 5 cups cabbage shredded (½ head of cabbage)
- 2 cups Basmati rice
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon hing
- ¼ cup cashew
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- ½ inch ginger minced or 1 tablespoon of ginger paste
- 1-2 green chilies finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ cup peas
- ½ lemon or lime
- 2 tablespoon coconut (optional)
- 2 tablespoon cilantro
- 2½ cups water
- Wash the rice thoroughly. Soak it in water for 20-30 minutes.
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode (normal) and add oil.
- Once it heats, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and hing.
- Add cashew and fry until they are golden.
- Add curry leaves, ginger, and green chili. Saute for a few seconds.
- Add cabbage, peas, turmeric powder, and salt. Saute for two minutes.
- Drain the water from the soaked rice.
- Add rice and 2½ cups of water. Give it a good mix.
- Close the lid and pressure cook on high for 6 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure.
- Add lemon juice, cilantro, and coconut. Mix the rice gently.
- Serve with plain yogurt or raita.