Spicy Potatoes, Cabbage and Carrots

Spicy Potatoes, Cabbage & Carrots

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
173 Calories
8g Fat
24g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 173
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 269mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 15mg 74%
Calcium 41mg 3%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 604mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This enticing dish of potatoes, cabbage, and carrots is cooked in a mildly spicy and extremely flavorful mix of ginger, turmeric, and pepper. Inspired by a classic Ethiopian vegetable stew called tikil gomen, which is a vegan-friendly and healthy one-pot preparation, these vegetables are usually served with rice or with traditional injera bread.

Our take on the dish uses similar spices and flavorings to make a wonderfully fragrant dish that you can serve as a side dish to any meal of your choice, such as grilled meat, roasted chicken, or broiled fish. Enjoy as a cooked salad, too. It's filling and bold in taste—you won't be disappointed at how much can you bring out of so few humble ingredients.

This winningly simple dish is definitely one of those easy dishes in which the main ingredients are better together than when eaten individually. The cooked cabbage, sweet carrots, and hearty potatoes absorb the flavoring of the spices while keeping their texture and character intact. While this dish is delicious with just a tablespoon of butter or oil, the flavors really heighten if you're willing to up the butter—go for the full 4 tablespoons of butter for the best flavor. Naturally gluten free, this is an excellent choice for people who adhere to these dietary guidelines.


  • 1 small onion

  • 1 head savoy cabbage, or 1/2 head green cabbage

  • 6 cloves garlic

  • 3 medium potatoes

  • 3 medium carrots

  • 1 to 4 tablespoons butter, or vegetable oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 cups water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Spicy Potatoes, Cabbage & Carrots ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Peel and finely chop the onion. Reserve.

    Peel and finely chop the onion on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Cut the cabbage in half, cut out, remove, and discard the core. Chop the leaves of both halves if using savoy cabbage, or just 1/2 head if using green cabbage. The pieces should be bite-sized.

    Cabbage cut into pieces

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Peel the garlic cloves and smash them with the side of a chef's knife. There is no need to mince or chop them any further. Reserve.

    Smash garlic with a knife, on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Peel the potatoes and chop them into bite-size pieces.

    Peel and chop potatoes

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Peel the carrots and cut them into bite-size pieces. Cutting the potatoes, cabbage, and carrots to a similar size will help with even cooking. Set aside.

    Peeled and cut carrots

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Melt the butter or heat the oil in a large frying pan or medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and salt. Cook, stirring frequently.

    Onions cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  8. After 1 minute, add the smashed garlic cloves. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and starting to turn translucent, or about 5 more minutes.

    Onions and garlic cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Add the ginger, turmeric, and pepper to the onion and garlic. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

    Add the ginger, turmeric, and pepper to the onion and garlic to the onions and garlic in the skillet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Add the chopped cabbage, stir to combine, and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the cabbage starts to wilt, or about 3 minutes. Stir again, cover, and cook until completely wilted, or about 5 more minutes.

    Add cabbage to the onions in the skillet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  11. Add the chopped potatoes, carrots, and 2 cups of water. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.

    Add potatoes, carrots, and water to the cabbage mixture

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  12. Cover again, reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook until the vegetables are completely tender, about 15 minutes. When done cooking, if there's too much liquid, remove the lid and cook uncovered to boil off the excess moisture. Taste test and add more salt if needed. Serve hot or warm.

    Spicy Potatoes, Cabbage & Carrots in a skillet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  13. Enjoy!

Watch Out! Turmeric Stains!

Turmeric is a root that has long been used in traditional medicine and cooking. Earthy and bitter, it's commonly used in many cuisines around the world because of its characteristic flavor but also because of the coloration it adds to the dishes. That said, turmeric is also used to dye fabrics because of its powerful and bright deep yellow hue. When cooking with turmeric be aware that it might stain kitchen towels, your hands, clothes, and wooden utensils. If it's too late and you inadvertently stained something, here's what you can do:

  • A mixture of one part water and one part baking soda can get rid of pretty much all turmeric stains. Give a good rub to dishes, spatulas, plastic containers, hands, and towels, and rinse as you normally would.
  • Use a solution of 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of bleach and soak fabric in it for one to two hours. Rinse and wash as you normally would.
  • If the stains are on your hands and fingernails, scrub with half a lemon a few times and rinse with soap and warm water.