Curry Kraut


This recipe was a small batch of curry flavored sauerkraut. There are many ways to make curry. Some might add or take certain spices but this gives you a baseline from which to work. Think of all the things you could eat this with and on. Sausage, hot dogs, burgers, soup (in some daal maybe?), on naan…

After making this I was talking to someone who makes curry kraut and adds chopped mango and pineapple. I was immediately envious. (There’s plenty you could add… shredded carrots, apple, etc., just bear in mind you may need to use less cabbage depending on how much else you’re adding, or make a larger ferment in a bigger jar.) That said, this was really delicious and the curry flavor really comes through. It’s got a decent kick heat wise but won’t blow most people away; you could always amp things up by adding your choice of hot pepper(s).

You will need: knife & cutting board or food processor to shred cabbage (I normally do this by hand but it is time consuming); quart jar with airlock/fermenting lid (recommended); a large non-reactive bowl to combine all ingredients; garlic press (preferable); mortar & pestle or electric grinder if any of your spices are starting out whole. A canning funnel makes the job of transferring cabbage to a jar much more manageable.

If you want to a make a larger quantity, use a half gallon jar and double all the ingredients.


  • 2 lb. cabbage head (before peeled and cored), thin sliced or shredded
  • 1 TBS non-iodized salt
  • 1/2 medium onion (60g), thin sliced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/2 TBSP coriander, ground
  • 1/2 TBSP cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground fenugreek (methi) (this is a great product but needs to be ground to powder)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (can use fresh grated root as alternative)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon


  • Remove exterior leaves of cabbage and rinse cabbage
  • Cut cabbage in half and remove the core with a V-shaped cut (that is my practice, but you may opt to retain the core by shredding, matchstick cutting, or using in another dish like soup)
  • Quarter the cabbage, cut the quarters in half and slice into strips; place in bowl
  • Thin slice the onion and add to bowl
  • Peel the garlic and crush in a garlic press (or mince); add to bowl
  • Add the salt and all spices, mix and gently massage so that it is evenly distributed
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and wait a few hours for brine to form (water pulled from the cabbage)
  • Alternately: massage the cabbage for at least ten minutes to release the brine more quickly (some people use a wooden beater for this but I prefer not to; it’s up to you). It is normal for the cabbage to soften and emit lots of brine.
  • Once you see plenty of brine released into the bowl, begin adding everything to the jar a handful at a time and firmly pressing down as you go so that everything is well compacted; also add a little brine as you go (if you add it all at the end it will have a harder time seeping down to cover everything)
  • The cabbage and other ingredients should be fully submerged. (Note: if there isn’t enough brine, or if you want to add a little extra to ensure it stays submerged, you can make your own brine (~3%) by adding a tsp salt to each cup of water. You will probably just need one cup but making extra isn’t a bad idea. You can also put some of the extra brine in a small ziploc to place at the top as a weight to keep everything submerged.)
  • The ferment should be kept in a dark, room-temperature environment anywhere from several weeks to several months. Minimum one month recommended for flavor and probiotic count. Note that there is a 4th, final phase of lacto-fermentation which takes about three months for kraut, so if you are making it for gut health benefits, this is the best recommendation. It will be incredibly stable at this stage for long storage in a refrigerator and still will have a good crunch (less so for kraut fermented six months, but some prefer this).

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