Mauritian-style Sautéed Cabbage with Potatoes [touffer lichou avec pommes de terre]


A simple sauteed cabbage recipe with potatoes cooked Mauritian style. The skillet braised-style cooking lends exceptional flavour to these humble inexpensive vegetables.

sauteed cabbage with potatoes [touffer li chou]

While my sense of curiosity and culinary adventure is what kindles my enthusiasm for exploring new types of food, more often than not, I am drawn back to the roots at the heart of Mauritian cuisine. As far as ingredients are concerned, I try to keep traditional Mauritian dishes as authentic as possible — sometimes with my own personal touch — based on what is available locally in Montreal. It is more than a joy to be able to recreate the simple dishes of home.
Luckily, it is easy enough to find most of the ingredients required for today’s recipe — a simple side dish that many Mauritians are pretty fond of.
Cabbage and potatoes come together in a skillet braised-style cooking to lend exceptional flavour to these humble inexpensive vegetables. The best meals are often the simplest ones.
In the Mauritian language, which is the Mauritian Creole, this preparation is called “touffer lisou” (or “lichou”, pronounced toofay lee sue). So, “ lisou” from the French “le chou” means cabbage and “touffer” is a braised method of cooking where the vegetables are first sautéed with onions, garlic, ginger and some spices then cooked covered (i.e. steamed) with a little water. This method of cooking infuses a lot of flavour into the cabbage. The addition of potatoes makes the dish more creamy and satisfying but you may omit the potatoes like I sometimes do for a lighter side dish.
If you can reasonably multi-task, then it is quite time efficient to prep the vegetables alongside cooking to make use of the in-between time when some ingredients are cooking.
This side dish can be served as part of any meal with rice or bread. I personally love to accompany it with brown rice and stewed lentils.

Watch the video for the step-by-step process from prepping the vegetables to the finished dish.

Mauritian-style Sauteed Cabbage with Potatoes

Ingredients (serve 3)
½ cabbage [about 500g]
1 medium-size [300g] red or white potato
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon minced ginger (it’s easy to make your own in advance)
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds (or ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds or ½ tsp whole cumin seeds)
1 tomato
4 – 5 curry leaves (or 1 bay leaf)
½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or 3 – 4 sprigs fresh thyme)
1 dried (or fresh) chili, optional
1 tablespoon coconut or vegetable oil

Start by peeling and slicing the onions and garlic. Peel and cut the potatoes into 5-cm or 2-inch cubes.
In a skillet or pan, heat the oil. Once oil is heated, add in the onions. Cook for about 2 minutes or until a little translucent.
Next add the minced ginger and garlic to the pan. Stir and cook for another minute. Then add the curry leaves. Clear a small section of the pan and then add the mustard seeds. Roast for 30 seconds or until they start to pop.
As soon as they start to pop, add the potatoes. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add a little water and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are cooked up to 75%.
Occasionally check on the potatoes and add a little water if they are sticking to the pan.
While potatoes are cooking, shred the cabbage rather thinly. Cut the tomatoes in quarters then slice thinly.
Add the cabbage. Cover and let wilt a little. Next stir and mix the cabbage with the potatoes. Then add in the tomatoes and stir. Add the thyme leaves.
Add salt to taste and a little water if needed. At this stage, add the dried chilli. I am only adding it at the final stage of cooking for a subtle kick. If you like it a lot more spicy, you can add the chillies together with the potatoes.
Then cover again and let the cabbage cook for another 5 minutes or until the cabbage and potatoes are done. The cabbage should still have a slight crisp to it.
Turn off the heat and serve warm.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Mauritian-style Sautéed Cabbage with Potatoes [touffer lichou avec pommes de terre]
 
Prep time
Cook time
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A simple sauteed cabbage recipe with potatoes cooked Mauritian style.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mauritian
Yield: 3 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cabbage [about 500g]
  • 1 medium-size [300g] red or white potato
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger (it's easy to make your own in advance)
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds (or ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds or ½ tsp whole cumin seeds)
  • 1 tomato
  • 4 - 5 curry leaves (or 1 bay leaf)
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or 3 - 4 sprigs fresh thyme)
  • 1 dried (or fresh) chili, optional
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Start by peeling and slicing the onions and garlic. Peel and cut the potatoes into 5-cm or 2-inch cubes.
  2. In a skillet or pan, heat the oil. Once oil is heated, add in the onions. Cook for about 2 minutes or until a little translucent.
  3. Next add the minced ginger and garlic to the pan. Stir and cook for another minute. Then add the curry leaves. Clear a small section of the pan and then add the mustard seeds. Roast for 30 seconds or until they start to pop.
  4. As soon as they start to pop, add the potatoes. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add a little water and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are cooked up to 75%.
  5. Occasionally check on the potatoes and add a little water if they are sticking to the pan.
  6. While potatoes are cooking, shred the cabbage rather thinly. Cut the tomatoes in quarters then slice thinly.
  7. Add the cabbage. Cover and let wilt a little. Next stir and mix the cabbage with the potatoes. Then add in the tomatoes and stir. Add the thyme leaves.
  8. Add salt to taste and a little water if needed. At this stage, add the dried chilli. I am only adding it at the final stage of cooking for a subtle kick. If you like it a lot more spicy, you can add the chillies together with the potatoes.
  9. Then cover again and let the cabbage cook for another 5 minutes or until the cabbage and potatoes are done. The cabbage should still have a slight crisp to it.
  10. Turn off the heat and serve warm.

sauteed cababage with potatoes [touffer li chou]

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2 Comments

  • Francesca
    May 30, 2016 at 3:54 am

    Thank you for another amazing recipe ♥ sometimes a feeling of nostalgia makes me long for our Mauritian days and I’m glad that through your recipes I can bring back some of those unique colors and flavors.

    One tiny question: I only have chou chinois on hand, but I really want to make a big pot of this for dinner tonight! Do you think the chou chinois will be ok, cooking it for a shorter time perhaps?

    • veganlovlie
      June 1, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      Hey Francesca, thanks for your comment. Yes chou chinois should be okay and as you said cook it for less. Increase the temperature and don’t keep it covered if it gets too watery. Hope you’ll enjoy this one. 🙂

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