Instant Pot Cabbage With Coconut & Spices (Sri Lankan Style)

This Sri Lankan inspired Instant Pot cabbage is nutritious and budget-friendly. Braised with coconut and spices, it is aromatic and light and can be served as a delicious side or as a main with some rice. It is vegan, gluten-free, and Whole30 friendly.


Instant Pot Cabbage

Cabbage is a nutritious and budget-friendly vegetable that is available all year round. It’s great in raw salads and slaws but it’s also perfect for cooking up a big batch of hearty soup or stew.

Today, we want to share an Instant Pot cabbage recipe that is inspired by a Sri Lankan dish called mallum or mallung, which literally means “mix up”. It’s made with cabbage and warm spices like mustard seeds and turmeric, plus some delicious shredded coconut.

This cabbage stew, or curry if you like, is dairy-free and gluten-free and is perfect over some lovely rice or beans for a healthy vegan or vegetarian dinner. You will find the full nutrition breakdown below the recipe.

 

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS INSTANT POT CABBAGE 

Regular white cabbage is used in this recipe and you can easily use other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts or broccoli.

If you don’t have mustard seeds, feel free to use some mustard powder or regular yellow mustard. It keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days and is lovely cold or reheated.

Dried coconut flakes or shredded coconut can be used but make sure it’s unsweetened.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH COCONUT CABBAGE

This cabbage stew has flavor characteristics of light curry and can be served as a main dish with a side of rice, quinoa or naan bread. It could also work well as a side with simple grilled fish, chicken, or tofu. You can add some cooked chickpeas or lentils to the cabbage stew to up its protein content.

Instant Pot Coconut Cabbage (Sri Lankan Style)

 

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THIS CABBAGE DISH

LOVE this dish. Made it again tonight subbing coconut milk for some of the water. Served it over rice and roasted cauliflower, topped it with crushed cashews. So, so good. THANK YOU for having such a terrific website!
★★★★★ – Melissa

I followed your recipe exactly and it was perfect. My husband kept asking for more. I served it with fish (trout).
★★★★★ – Pauline

Made this tonight and it was a big hit. Paired it was a grain combo, Trader Joe’s chicken tikka samosas and lime pickle chutney. Absolutely delicious and enough for lunch tomorrow! Thank you for a great recipe.
★★★★★ – Kathleen


MORE INSTANT POT RECIPES TO TRY

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Sri Lankan Coconut Cabbage | Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Recipe

Instant Pot Cabbage With Coconut & Spices (Sri Lankan Style)

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main / Entree
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Sri Lankan

Description

Inspired by a Sri Lankan dish, this Instant Pot cabbage is made with warm spices like mustard seeds and turmeric, plus some delicious shredded coconut. This curry is dairy-free and gluten-free and is perfect over rice or beans for a healthy vegan or vegetarian dinner.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1/2 long red chili, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds (or 1 teaspoon mustard powder)
  • 1 tablespoon mild curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 medium cabbage, quartered and shredded or sliced (core removed)
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water

Instructions

  1. Turn the Instant Pot on and press the Sauté function key (it should say High, 30 mins). Add the coconut oil, onion and half of the salt and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until softened.
  2. Add the garlic, chili and spices and stir through for 20-30 seconds.
  3. Add the cabbage and carrots, lime juice, coconut and olive oil and stir through. Add the water and stir through. Press Keep Warm/Cancel button.
  4. Place and lock the lid, make sure the steam releasing handle is pointing to Sealing. Press Manual (High Pressure) and set to 5 minutes. After 3 beeps the pressure cooker will start going. Once the time is up, use the quick release to let off the pressure.
  5. Serve with rice or beans, or as a side dish with fish or chicken.

 

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By Instant Pot Eats

About us: We are a team of Instant Pot enthusiasts, who love good food and cooking. Our blog is dedicated to delicious recipes you can make using your trusted pressure cooker.

PS. This post may contain Amazon affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. 

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Comments

32 Comments
  1. Im making this now and excited for it! Just wondering though, isnt the minimum amount of water 1 and 1/2 cups water? Im afraid to mess this up lol.

    1. Hey Nicole,

      Officially, IP recommend 1 cup of liquid but it doesn’t take into account the moisture/liquid released by the food itself. Cabbage tends to release A LOT of water while cooking, so in order for it to not turn into a soup, I am using less added liquid. It’s still enough to build up the pressure and cook the vegetables 🙂

      Hope that makes sense.

    2. Made this tonight and it was a big hit. Paired it was a grain combo, Trader Joe’s chicken tikka samosas and lime pickle chutney. Absolutely delicious and enough for lunch tomorrow! Thank you for a great recipe.

  2. Half the salt is used during the saute. When is the other half used? Either I’m not reading the recipe properly or …..

    My guess would be that it should be added with the other “spices” after the saute, but this isn’t clear.
    Thanks!

        1. Hi Ruth. I did not intend to sound snarky; I was only confirming that the other half of the salt is placed into the pot with the rest of the ingredients as the other commenter had assumed so. I hope this clears things up for you.

  3. I added double the coconut some full fat coconut milk at the end and it took it over the top on the delicious scale! We couldn’t stop eating it.

    1. Oh wow! That sounds fantastic. So glad you’re enjoying this awesome veggie dish Regina, and thanks for the feedback!

  4. I have tried to make several curries in the instant pot. Every recipe I have tried so far always seemed like it was missing something. then I came across this one. This recipe was absolutely delicious I will be making this over and over again thank you so very much! The only things I changed was to add one can of Trader Joes coconut milk and since I didn’t have red peppers I used a little bit of cayenne I believe maybe a teaspoon for the whole recipe …..and it was out-of-this-world delicious!! This is a awesome recipe thank you so much God bless you!

  5. I followed your recipe exactly and it was perfect. My husband kept asking for more. I served it with fish (trout).

  6. Could I throw in a few chicken legs (thawed) with the cabbage/veggies for step 3-4 so that it is an all in one curry dish? If so, would the cooking time still be set to 5 minutes (on step 4) and would the water added still be 1/3 cup of water (on step 3)?

    1. Hey Christine, chicken usually requires a longer time, so I would throw in the chicken first with some water and cook that for 7 minutes on high. Quick release and remove from the pot. Then follow the recipes and add the pre-cooked chicken with the cabbage and do 5 minutes on HIGH together as per the recipe. Alternatively, if you use something like ground chicken or finely dice chicken, it could probably cook in 5 minutes on HIGH together with the cabbage.

  7. LOVE this dish. Made it again tonight subbing coconut milk for some of the water. Served it over rice and roasted cauliflower, topped it with crushed cashews. So, so good. THANK YOU for having such a terrific website!

  8. This was an excellent recipe, but 5 minutes high pressure with 5 minutes natural release yields a completely soft/mushy cabbage. There is no reason you can’t do a Quick Release so I suggest doing 3 minutes with an immediate quick release. I also added full fat coconut milk. I didn’t have a coconut (forgot to purchase) but if I did I would have reserved that as the required liquid instead of water. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks William! And also for your feedback on timings, I’d say you can certainly do QR and get crunchier cabbage.

  9. I loved this recipe. I used a bag and a half of pre-cut cole slaw cabbage. I didn’t have the chili, so I used 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. Not overly hot, just a bit of heat. Served over white basmati rice and topped with small chunks of fresh pineapple. What unique and amazing flavor! Oh, I also omitted the oil entirely, since we are WFPB. (I sautéd the onion and spices in just enough veggie broth to prevent sticking.)

  10. Easy to make and turned out to be delicious! I don’t have an instant pot, so I just used a regular ole pot and once all of the ingredients were in, I covered the pot with a lid to help steam the cabbage. I also omitted the chilis because I didn’t have any and I didn’t miss them. I made quinoa and chickpeas to accompany it. So so good!

  11. Eek, it came out like watery mush. I’m hoping it’s still edible when it cools off, I waited for natural pressure release, was that my mistake?

    1. Hey, Danielle

      Yes, natural pressure release still cooks the food so it will often overcook the vegetables. It’s not so bad for meat dishes but pasta, rice and veggies can get pretty soggy and mushy if left in the IP for too long.

      I hope it still tasted nice.

      Irena

  12. DELECTABLE!
    Followed this recipe to the T (used lemon juice) and it will become a staple. (I used the Wolfgang Puck 8-qt Rapid/ Pressure Cooker.)

    1. Yes, absolutely. Repeat the steps in a pot on the stove and once everything is in, cook for 20-25 minutes or so over medium-low heat.

  13. My husband’s a vegan and he loved!!!! this recipe. As a matter of fact, he ate the whole pot before I could save some for the next day!!! Unbelievable

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