Sambharo – Spicy Cabbage Salad


Sambharo is rather like a spicy cooked salad always served up as a condiment to a main meal.   It’s usually made with carrots, white cabbage, raw mangoes, raw papaya and hot green chillies – stir fried in oil, mustard seeds and turmeric. It can be served hot or cold.    This kind of a salad is my favourite and any leftovers are used as sandwich fillers for my lunch.  A lot of Indian takeaways serve a small portion of sambharo with ganthia.  Most gujarati thali’s will have a serving of  sambharo. Sambharo is always made hot and spicy and served in a very small portion as it’s usually served  to give the main meal a hot spicy taste.  This is a simple version of the sambharo and it tastes great too.


4 cups white Cabbage -shredded finely
8-10 small hot green chillies (you can use peppers or jalapenos if you are not able to get the small chillies)
1 tablespoon sunflower oil (or any cooking oil)
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teasppon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon lemon


1.  Heat the oil in a saucepan.

2. Add the Mustard seeds.    When the mustard seeds stop popping, add the cabbage.

3.  Stir fry the  cabbage and allow it to be coated with the oil.

4.  Add the salt, turmeric and sugar (or not).

5.   Stir fry the cabbage and do not cover it with a lid as the cabbage should remine slightly el dante.

6.   Add the lemon, stir and transfer the sambharo to a serving dish.

Note:   You never add garlic or  ginger or chilly powder to this dish.  Nor do you  garnish it with coriander etc.

Tip:  You usually serve it as an extra with your main course or with certain Indian snacks such as lamba gathia.

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About Mina Joshi

Mina Joshi writes a vegetarian food blog,, and as a busy working Cambridgeshire mum, she specialises in quick and healthy authentic vegetarian recipes Both her father and father-in-law were experienced chefs who owned restaurants in East Africa and they shared their recipes and tips with Mina. She started her blog to pass on some of the old-fashioned dishes that might otherwise be lost. Mina believes that nothing beats home cooking and it is her aim to make everyone realise that cooking can be fun. also teaches vegetarian Indian cookery to adults at Evening classes at a Local College as well as in one to one classes in the Student's home where students can then invite friends to taste the dishes they have prepared. Follow Mina on Twitter @GiveMeSomeSpice
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4 Responses to Sambharo – Spicy Cabbage Salad

  1. Jagruti says:

    Delicious sambharo…love to have with gujju snack fafda and jalebi..also with moong daal too !!

  2. Narmada says:

    Hey Mina,
    This is a really easy but yummy relish to have with meals, and especially great with lamba gatthia, and I speak from having tasted it all first hand at your house! Your sambharo is excellent with just the right amount of crispness and heat… Thank you for sharing…

  3. Mina Joshi says:

    Thanks ladies for your kind comments. This one has been a favourite of mine since childhood.

  4. Raj says:

    Yo Minaben, thank u for the recipe. My mom used to make this many years ago in Tanzania.
    I made it, it was yum.
    I like your recipes.

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