Cabbage Relish -
Indian style coleslaw  (Kobi Pachadi)

This cabbage relish recipe was inspired by Great Vegetarian Dishes, over 240 Recipes from around the world' by Kurma Dasa,  

1990, and the recipe was adapted specifically for the use of Carolina Reaper chilies. We grow and harvest them. They are a variety of Capsicum Chinense, specifically a cross between Bhut jolokia and red habanero.

This is an unusual coleslaw, so unlike the creamy mild version made with mayonnaise. It is very piquant and the tastes take a while to integrate, and will still be pulling in different directions when its ready to eat. It is delicious nonetheless, especially if you are a fan of the flavors of Indian cuisine. During the history of globalization, ingredients have been trans located, and chilies, tomatoes and peanuts, found in this recipe, originated in the Americas. However they have become integral to the cuisine of other areas of the world like the Mediterranean, Southern Asia and West Africa. 

Kobi Pachadi, I deduce from recipe comparisons, means cabbage relish. The word Pachadi is applied to fresh chutneys, salads, sauces, side dishes and sambals. They are generally highly flavored. Making this 'Pachadi' is labor intensive, from taming the coconut, to roasting the peanuts and slowly mixing the ingredients starting with the finest powders. The shop roasted peanuts were so bland I gave them an extra roasting and removed their papery red shells, winnowing them in the breeze outside, which was time consuming. 

It is necessary to sprinkle the Carolina Reaper chili grounds over the milled peanut and other fine dry ingredients to allow very thorough mixing. This type of chili is so strong, you do not want to chew on a large chunk, unless you have someone with emergency medical training close at hand. Carolina Reaper chili is the hottest in the world and much hotter than cayenne by a long way. It can cause a choking reflex and burn the eyes and mouth. But it has incredible 'body' compared to other chilies, to purloin a term from wine appreciation. It gives all foods it is cooked with well rounded aromatic base notes. 

Preparation time: 60 minutes 
Cooking time: at least 5 minutes
Resting time: At least 8 hours
Total time needed: at least 8 hours 65 minutes
Grade of Difficulty: standard


Serves 4

Cabbage Relish

  • 1 small Chinese cabbage chopped fine
  • 4 medium tomatoes chopped fine
  • ½ cup ground, roasted peanuts
  • ½ cup grated fresh coconut
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 6 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons coconut liquid
  • 2 tablespoons light corn oil
  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon asafoetida
  • 1/8th teaspoon Carolina Reaper chili powder or 1 tablespoon fresh green chili
  • 4 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves


  • Get two glass bowls ready, one of at least two liter capacity.
  • Roast the peanuts in a pan until browned on one side.
  • Mill them in a coffee grinder or strong blender. 
  • Place the peanut grounds in the smaller bowl.
  • Add the spice seeds and turmeric, salt and sugar
  • sprinkle the Carolina Reaper powder over the powders in the smaller bowl to spread it well.
  • Mix the powders thoroughly
  • Remove husk over the coconut eyes
  • Bore open two eyes with a screwdriver if needed and collect the liquid.
  • Put 2 tablespoons of coconut liquid in the large bowl.
  • Crack open the coconut with a hammer, place it between some bricks to stop it hopping about
  • Crack of the flesh from the shell by inserting a large knife point between the shell and the white flesh and lifting or twisting.
  • Coarse grate the coconut, and add to the large bowl.
  • Add the coriander leaves, lemon juice and oil to the large bowl.
  • Mix well and then shake out the spice powder blend over the wet mixture of herbs and coconut, distributing it well and then stir well. 
  • Add the tomato bit by bit and stir thoroughly. 
  • Add the cabbage bit by bit and stir thoroughly till the salad is well mixed. 
  • Leave it to steep for a day and then eat. 
  • It is very spicy. I suggest you may want to reduce the chili powder a lot if you don't like salad with a pronounced burn. 
  • 2 Tablespoons of yogurt in the salad can calm the flavors of the cabbage relish a lot.

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