A spicy update to a traditional summer favorite
Warm weather has arrived in our part of the world. That means cookout time! And every cookout needs coleslaw.
This Curried Creamy Coleslaw is a tastier twist on traditional mayo-based slaws. Curry plays extremely well with cabbage – and you can make this as spicy (or not) as you wish.
Spicy for us, please.
Recipe: Curried Creamy Coleslaw
This dish builds on the same elements as our Creamy Coleslaw. But the addition of curry powder and (optional) hot sauce takes it in a new direction. Our recipe is inspired by a Jacques Pépin dish we saw years ago in the New York Times.
This recipe takes 10 to 15 minutes to make. We recommend preparing it an hour or two ahead of time so it can chill in the refrigerator. (We think it tastes better chilled, although you can serve this slaw right after making it if you wish).
This recipe serves 6 to 8 as a side dish.
Leftovers keep for a day or two if refrigerated in an airtight container.
- 1 small cabbage or ½ large cabbage (about 1½ pounds)
- 2 to 3 carrots (about 6 ounces)
- 1 jalapeño pepper (optional)
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup yogurt (we like to use Greek yogurt)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste; see Notes)
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- ½ teaspoon dried turmeric powder
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional; to taste)
- 2 to 3 teaspoons sugar (optional; to taste)
- Wash the cabbage and remove any damaged outer leaves. Cut the cabbage in half, core it, then cut it into wedges. Shred the cabbage using a large knife or the shredding disk of a food processor. Set aside.
- Wash and peel the carrots. Shred the carrots in a food processor (using the shredding disk) or chop them coarsely in a mini food processor. Set aside.
- Wash the jalapeño pepper, if using, and cut it in half lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the ribs and seeds, if you wish. (Be careful – jalapeño oil is hot, so keep your fingers away from your eyes.) Chop the jalapeño into very small dice or use a mini food processor (you may want to reserve a few jalapeño slices for garnish). Set aside. Then wash your hands with soap and water to remove the hot jalapeño oil from your skin.
- Add the mayonnaise and the yogurt to a mixing bowl (use one that’s large enough to hold all the slaw ingredients). Whisk together. Add the salt, curry powder, and turmeric, then whisk until well blended. Add Tabasco sauce to taste, if desired. Whisk to combine. Taste the mixture. If you find it too bitter, add sugar to taste.
- Add the shredded cabbage and carrots, along with the chopped jalapeño. Mix well to combine.
- Cover the mixing bowl with shrink wrap (or scrape the contents of the bowl into a large airtight container), then refrigerate the coleslaw for an hour or two before serving. We like to add a slice of jalapeño as garnish to the top of each serving.
- Exact quantities aren’t critical for this recipe. You can eyeball most of the ingredient measurements.
- We sometimes add a few teaspoons of fresh lime juice to this dish, right at the end. The hit of acid brightens the flavor.
- Jacques Pépin suggests adding a couple teaspoons of poppy seeds to this dish. You could also try adding some brown or black mustard seeds (available in Indian markets).
- Feel free to add more curry powder if you want a stronger curry flavor.
- You can use all mayo in this recipe if you prefer. We like to add yogurt because it works so well in curry dishes.
- We haven’t made this dish using yogurt alone (no mayo), but that sounds pretty good. You could also substitute sour cream for the yogurt.
- We like hot food, so we add both jalapeño and Tabasco to this dish. But adjust the spiciness to taste as you make the dish. You may prefer less heat.
- We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and coarser, so they pack a measure less tightly). If substituting regular table salt, start with about half as much as we suggest. But always season to your taste, not ours.
“Glad you took a chance on spicy,” said Mrs Kitchen Riffs. “That was curry-agious of you.”
“Thanks,” I said. “I love tabasco in praise.”
“Where did you dig up that pun?” said Mrs K R. “Not that I carrot all.”
“Are you going to pepper me with questions?” I said.
“Mayo, mayo not,” said Mrs K R.
“These puns are the worst,” I said. “Our readers may get the right idea about us.”
“We’re goofballs,” said Mrs K R. “With cabbage baggage.”
Good thing we used yogurt in this dish. That part, at least, is cultured.
You may also enjoy reading about:
Pepper Coleslaw with Garlic Vinaigrette
Collard Greens and Radish Slaw
Jalapeño Coleslaw with Pimentón
Hot Bacon Coleslaw with (or without) Jalapeño
Celery Root (Celeriac) Rémoulade
Or check out the index for more