Bandhakopi Torkari – Cabbage stir fry

Bengalis are known for their love towards non-vegetarian dishes. Meat or fish is a part of everyday meal, either as a light stew or rich spicy gravy. I also have a special love towards meat and fish but I don’t crave for it every day and neither does my brother. But even today, my Dad cannot survive without fish for more than 2 days.

Having said that, most Bengali families will dedicate at-least one day of the week to pure vegetarian dishes. When I say pure vegetarian, I mean absolutely pure, with no onion or garlic. Even otherwise, Bengalis don’t tend to use a lot of onions or garlic in vegetable curries.

On such pure vegetarian days, Mom would sometimes cook Bandhakopi Torkari. Bandhakopi is green cabbage and torkari refers to stir-fry vegetables or vegetable curry served with some rice. There are different versions of preparing this side dish and this is a pure vegetarian version where panch phoron and hing (asafoetida) is used to add the flavor.

It’s one of those quick and easy side dishes that can be prepared with absolutely no effort. The only effort that you might need is to finely chop the green cabbage uniformly.

Some prefer to slow cook the cabbage to get the soft texture and add char at the edges. I absolutely enjoy this technique except for this particular recipe. I wanted to keep it light and something that can be served as a warm salad with bread. Hence, I made sure that the cabbage was a little crunchy.

Ideally, Mom would add some crispy fried bite-size potatoes close to the end of cooking. I omitted it and added some paneer with green peas. We both love the combination of paneer with green peas and it worked beautifully with the crunchy cabbage.

You can always use potatoes as well as onions in this dish. I just wanted to keep it simple and pure vegetarian.

In case you don’t have panch phoron or don’t have all the spices involved in making panch phoron, then you can use cumin seeds, some fennel seeds and some mustard seeds. 

Bandhakopi Torkari – Cabbage stir fry

Serving Size: 2 as main course

Bandhakopi Torkari – Cabbage stir fry


  • 4 cups finely chopped cabbage
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1-1/2 cup paneer, cut in tiny cube pieces
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon panch phoron
  • 1 teaspoon hing (asafoetida)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (optional)
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil


  • In a wok or a deep pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil.
  • Add paneer cubes, season with some salt and saute for about 2 minutes.
  • Remove the paneer, drop the frozen peas in the same pan and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Remove peas from the pan and heat 1 more tablespoon of oil in the same pan.
  • Add panch phoron and once it starts to sizzle, add asafoetida to it and bring the heat down to medium.
  • The spices should start releasing the flavor in few seconds. Then, add the chopped cabbage and give a good stir to mix it nicely with the spices.
  • Season with salt, cover the pan and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Keep stirring in between to make sure it does not get burnt at bottom.
  • Put the cooked paneer and peas in the pan. Give it a good mix, cover the pan and let it cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Switch off the heat and squeeze in the lime juice.
  • Give it one last mix and serve it as a salad or as a side with some bread.

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aah so easy to make but still delicious!! Would love to try out Kankana. Thanks!

These are the recipes which I love to make over and over again and never get tired of eating and cooking them. Need to make the Panch phoran soon and add to my curries..I use it in my pickles though.

Quite a unique take on cabbage and paneer Kana.. Got to try!
Love that china kadai (4th) picture..

Vijitha says:

An easy and quick side for a party. Loving your pictures as always. We make poriyal with cabbage and peas and add little coconut to it.

Vimitha says:

Thats a very healthy stir fry… Nice addition of paneer.

Rosa says:

A lovely stir fry! Cabbage is such a wonderful and versatile vegetable.



sayantani says:

never tried paneer in bandhakopi but it looks delicious. love that pot with lotus painted on it. lovely clicks

Quite and easy and tempting one. Can’t take eyes from the clicks

that is looks refreshing.. I love cabbage, because they crispy, I do love your method which not cooked it until the cabbage soft.


Alyssa says:

My husband LOVES cabbage, but I don’t have any good cabagte recipes. Thanks for sharing, I will totally be trying this. And your photos are beautiful (as always!)

I hated cabbage my whole life until I tasted cabbage cooked well 🙂 Now I love it… Thanks for sharing this recipe! Sounds yummy – and I LOVE paneer 🙂 The pictures are gorgeous too!

Kalyani says:

looks yummy and delicious ……..

nisha says:

i am loving the combination here…paneer cabbage and peas…never thought of that before, and potato also sound like a fab idea. I am so tempted to make this. Except for the panch phoron i kinda have everything else. What can i substitute it with? Any suggestion?

Kankana says:

Well, Panch phoron is just a mix of certain spices. SO if you don’t get all the spices available just use some cumin seeds, some fennel seeds and some mustard seeds 🙂

pavithra says:

Any dry subzi I am the combination..Way toooooooo tempted. Lovely shots !!!

Love the addition of paneer (I’m a paneer fanatic..haha). Beautiful pictures as always!

So perfect for Spring! Want to try this with potatoes like your mom. Have a head of cabbage sitting in the fridge so will try it soon!

Maja says:

kankana, I can fell spring in this shoots! Oh my gosh, this recipe and shoots are so lovely! Love paneer in this!

I just saw your email when I was reading your post – how funny we were visiting each other at the same time. =) Although I’m not familiar with two spices panch phoron and hing, I will love this stir fry. Looks very simple and delicious! I think adding potatoes to the cabbage sounds good too. Loving each and every photo Kankana!

Oh this is my dad’s favorite!!!!
I love love the clicks…
You know we always make cabbage with potatoes, need to try this with paneer!!

I love cabbage and paired with paneer is even better! such a healthy dish!

Notyet100 says:

I never tried cabbage with cottage cheese,this one looks yum,,

your recipe really unique, eventhough i’m not very familiar with hing and panch phoron. anyway, paneer is always my favorite!


i love panch phoran with cabbage..but never added paneer to cabbage..this looks very interesting..


paneer with cabbage is a combo i have necer tasted before.. u make it look like they were a maych made in heaven! looks awesome

Emily says:

I love the addition of paneer. I’ve made something similar without the paneer, but I saute it with butter and indian spices. Also, I love my cabbage a little crunchy as well. I think it is the best way to have it. 😀

Hi Kankana!

The ingredients sound already very pleasing and appetizing! I dont think so I have ever had a pure pure indian dish (means without onion and garlic), those r always there in our cooking. I d love to try your recipe!

Liz says:

Oh, I adore stir fried cabbage…and yours looks gorgeous and yummy 🙂

My husband has been craving a lot of cabbage lately so this would be a great dish to add to our weekly rotation. I love stir-fried cabbage!

I love finding new and wonderful uses for cabbage, and can’t wait to try this! So interesting that garlic and onion must be excluded for it to be “pure” vegetarian. I can hardly imagine a day without those two ingredients! Gorgeous photos, as well.

Kiri W. says:

What a gorgeous dish – I love cabbage in almost any cuisine, and paneer is a thing of beauty. Bookmarked! 🙂

Nupur says:

Hey I have just bought the similar pan last weekend.. very lovely pics ..

loved your idea of adding paneer to cabbage stir fry. quite new , huh 🙂

Charles says:

I love cabbage – it’a a really under-appreciated ingredient to be honest. I love the look of the stir-fry, and the idea of those crispy potatoes too… yummy! 🙂

tigerfish says:

I did not know there is part of Indian cuisine that does not use onions and garlic. Thanks for sharing this knowledge.

I like this way of cooking cabbage – tender firm texture and slightly charred caramelized at the edges.

Ansh says:

Minus the paneer, this is my favorite dish. My Songeet teacher would make this with a plain dal and I would always invite myself over.

Love the pictures you take. As always – stunning!

What a lovely looking dish. I often end up with cabbage in our farmers boxes and more often than not don’t end up using it. This is a great dish to keep in mind next time 😀 Especially with the use of paneer, which I love.

Shri says:

Loved the green peas snapshot here Kankana.
Regards the Channa: some people avoid the anardana because of the graini-ness; in this it is ground again with the other roast spices.

Kankana, your stir-fry look amazing. It is good to have at least once a week pure vegetarian or even vegan in that matter. I Love your recipe, photos and always do so well!!!Have a wonderful weekend sweetie!

San says:

Yep even my bengali friend will say so that she won’t be able to survive without eating fish. Cabbage stir fry is so luscious kankana.

daksha says:

I never tried cabbage with paneer, loos super yummm…..


Love simple yet healthy and delicious meal like this!

shirley@kokken69 says:

Most of the vegetable dishes I have eaten in India are a little rich. If they serve this in the restaurant, I will definitely order it!

Kala says:

Looks to be a delicious dish, Kankana.

rebecca says:

this looks awesome and love it has paneer in it

Joanne says:

Cabbage and paneer…now that sounds like a match made in heaven. what a tasty dish!

This looks just too good! I love stir fry, on my “to try” list. Thank you!

sally says:

Yum! I’m putting this on my list of things to make. What a great combination of ingredients!

Adorable, Kankana!Your combination of spices are breath-taking as usual :)I’m a fan of cabagge and this lovely stir fry is making me drool.


What a great alternative to traditional St. Patrick’s Day cabbage dishes – I can’t wait to try it out myself.

Ah.. I’ve never eaten cabbage with paneer! What a great idea Kankana!

sonia says:

Hi Kankana,
The cabbage stirfry cudnt look better than this. Loved the addition of paneer cubes to this recipe. Have a good day…Cheers, Sonia

Mats says:

Looks great! Thanks for sharing!

oohhh! doing cabbage like this sounds phenomenal. I love the flavor it must bring out in the cabbage! I am definitely trying this soon!

It sounds and looks delicious! And going vegetarian every now and then is good for your body and your wallet!

I’m all the way in for the vegetarian dinners 🙂 I love this stir fry. I can only imagine the flavor coming from all the spices. Beautiful photos Kankana

Tes says:

I love stir fried cabbage and this version seems to be packed with flavour 🙂

Maureen says:

Beautiful photography and delicious food. My hero 🙂

Irena says:

Sounds so comforting and delicious. I love your serving dish, beautiful:)

Yummy! My mom makes cabbage stir fry with tofu and bean spouts, haldi and lemon juice. So delish 😀

I love cabbage stir-fry. Paneer is a nice addition to it. I add little grated coconut, it gives an added flavor.

Georgia says:

What a fabulous recipe and stunning bunch of photos! You are very talented. Thanks for sharing! Also, I’m having a great giveaway today with four potential prize winners, so you should enter!

Always enjoy a simple stir fry vegetable like this. I have to admit that I cook the similar mix (minus the paneer) in Chinese style. Wish paneer is a lot cheaper here! Love what you share about many great insights about Bengalis cuisine.

Came across your blog as I was going through all the GoodLookingBlog pictures – a link which I had clicked from eCurry. Just wanted to say that it’s beautiful – very cheerful and light. Haven’t gone through all the posts (there are quite a few of them)- but surely will do that slowly, in my own time.

We share similar interest – travelling, Food and Photography (that’s the order of priority!).

All the best:)