About 15 years ago or so, a friend introduced me to a version of this crunchy cabbage salad recipe she came across on the streets of India, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Growing up, a cabbage salad of a different sort was on the daily menu. One tossed with salt, fresh juicy chopped tomatoes, lots of cilantro, and thinly diced green chili. Served alongside a meal, the quickly and lightly fermented salad added a little crunch, crunch to every bite. Similar to this recipe, the cabbage salad was served and eaten like pickle or achaar. Complimenting each bite, especially bites of simple and comforting daal chawal (lentil soup & rice).

Being a ginger lover, and an advocate for cooking that prioritizes digestion, I added fresh ginger to and lime zest for a little extra zing. The heat from the ginger counterbalances the cold, cruciferous qualities of cabbage while giving the digestive fire a little boost. Along with the lime and salt. which help “cure” the cabbage. Serving this salad room temperature is also an important component in supporting the digestive fire,  especially if there is a tendency for vata imbalances like gas, and bloating often caused by a low digestive flame and excess cold energy in the body. happy eating, happy digestion.

Gingery, Lemon-y & Roasted Sesame Cabbage Salad

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Ayurveda, Indian, Pakistani
Season Spring, Summer
Quality crunchy, dry, light
PREP TIME 20 minutes
resting time 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME 30 minutes
SERVINGS 6 servings


  • 8 cups green cabbage (about 1 medium head)
  • tsp sea or Himalayan salt
  • 2 tbsp ginger fresh, peeled and grated
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds toasted
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil


  • 1 zest of lime
  • 1-2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 serrano chili thinly sliced & seeded
  • 1 scallion or green onion thinly sliced


  1. in a large mixing bowl add thinly sliced/shredded cabbage (not as thick as coleslaw and not mandolin thin) and salt, mix well and set aside will preparing other ingredients to soften the cabbage. do not use course parts (set them aside for stock or cooking). takes about 10 minutes 

  2. using a microplane shred ginger or if preferred make a ginger paste using a blender, toss into the mixing bowl with the salted cabbage along with the lime juice, toasted sesame seeds and oil, optional lime zest, serrano chili and scallions. ensure the cabbage has started to soften and released a bit of water, before adding these ingredients. toss well.

recipe notes

  • if using purple cabbage, a longer time will be needed as purple cabbage takes longer to soften. green cabbage is preferred if there is a tendency for vata dosha 
  • salad keeps well for up to 3 days
  • serve it at room temperature—be kind to your digestive fire
  • for people with vata dosha tendencies, using a non-roasted oil along with the roasted sesame oil will help balance out the dryness of the cabbage roasted sesame oil is not moisturizing, but very flavorful and aromatic.

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