B is for Bhanavle (Cabbage pie)

A quick tea time snack that has been my favourite for as long as I can remember. Cooked to perfection by my Mothi Aji (great grandma) as well as my Aji (gran), it always reminds me of summer holidays and our afternoon tea.

Biscuits, crisps and store-bought munchies were a rarity. Snacks were home-made, usually on the day and just in time for tea.

A large part of the day would be spent exploring the rather limited collection of books in our local library. The afternoons were spent at a friend’s place, devoted to inventing and playing crazy games indoors to beat the heat. But come four o’clock, all merriment and diversions were abandoned to head home in anticipation of the surprise that awaited us. (I don’t think the surprise element was intentional. Ingredients available in the store cupboard or fridge were used up to create some clever dishes. Call it frugal living or inventive cooking, it was always delicious.)

Bhanavle is one such example – traditionally, it is a cabbage and shrimp pie that will have you coming back for seconds and thirds. This is a vegetarian version with the shrimps omitted. Whether you like the crispy edges or the squidgy pieces in the centre, it is sure to have you licking your fingers.

Bhanavle - a savoury cabbage pie

Bhanavle – a savoury cabbage pie

Time: 30 minutes + 25-30 minutes baking time



1 medium cabbage, shredded (about 1.5 cups)

2 onions, chopped fine

1/4 cup coriander, chopped

3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon chilli powder

3/4 teaspoon sambhar powder (or garam masala)

2 cloves and a 1/2 inch piece of cinnamon, powdered fine

10-12 tablespoons gram flour (besan)

1 teaspoon baking powder

salt to taste

a few pats of butter

1 tablespoon bread crumbs (optional)

1/2 cup cooked shrimps (optional)

Crispy edges or squidgy middles - take your pick

Crispy edges or squidgy middles – take your pick


1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (Gas mark 6 or 400 F).

2. In a large casserole or baking dish, mix the onion, cabbage and coriander leaves along with the spices. Keep aside. (Add the shrimps at this stage, if you are using them.)

3. Make a thick batter with the besan, salt, baking powder and a little water.

4. Pour the batter over the cabbage mixture. Mix well and smoothen the top with the back of a spatula.

5. Add a few pats of butter over the top.

6. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs (optional) and pop the casserole into the oven for about 20-25 minutes. It is baked when the edges and top are slightly browned.

Serve warm. Ketchup, napkins, good manners – all optional.


Going, going, almost gone.

Going, going, almost gone.

About The Weekend Baker

Weekend baker, cook book collector, gatherer of family recipes.. I have inherited my love for baking, cooking and experimenting in the kitc
This entry was posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge 2015, Fish, Savoury snacks, Teatime snacks or Brunch ideas and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to B is for Bhanavle (Cabbage pie)

  1. Becca Joyce says:

    I became a vegetarian a few weeks ago, so I’m reading your blog with every intention of trying these recipes out. I love the way you introduce them with a little bit of a story. Lovely blog 🙂

  2. Vinitha says:

    Looking delicious. 🙂 book marking your blog to try out the recipes later. 🙂

  3. Hey – That looks like a simple recipe to try at home and healthy too 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  4. Rajlakshmi says:

    that looks so delicious and healthy. If only I had such cooking skills 🙂

  5. I’m not a big fan of cabbage but this looks yummy! And as Raj said, it’s healthy! 🙂

  6. nishasanjeev says:

    Am gonna try… thanks!

  7. That looks delicious. And cabbage is something I like too.. 🙂

  8. catchats says:

    MMM, I would love to try this and I actually have those ingredients on hand. Sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  9. vinodinii says:

    Never heard of this dish. But it looks yummy and quite healthy too. I’m sure going to try this!

  10. swathishenoy says:

    Oh wow! This looks so yummy 🙂 I am definitely asking my mom to prepare this tomorrow 🙂 Keep posting yummy recipes like this 😉


  11. shanayatales says:

    Never heard of this. Looks so yummy. Will certainly try this soon. Bookmarking this recipe. Thanks for sharing, Monica. 🙂
    *Shantala @ ShanayaTales*

  12. Shalzzz says:

    I have never made pies! I’ll try this one! Bookmarking 🙂 *Shalini @TaleofTwoTomatoes*

  13. Wow! What a fab idea for a snack, Monica. I’m certainly going to try this out.

  14. Obsessivemom says:

    I too have never tried pies. This sounds easy enough.

  15. So interesting! I am always on the look out for snack time recipies. I love the name of your blog… 🙂

  16. When I was young my grandmother sent me to the store to get a head of lettuce. I came back with a cabbage. I will always remember her laughing so loud when I handed it to her.

  17. Love bhanavle – karandi ghalun – आणि कधी कधी शिरे घालून (instead of water

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