Purple Cabbage and Paneer Coleslaw

In this Indian twist to the world famous coleslaw, crispy and vibrant purple cabbage is tossed along with some carrots, apples, marinated paneer and a creamy dressing made with mayonnaise and cider vinegar.

When I think Coleslaw, I think hot summer days, picnic hampers, cold sloppy sandwiches, barbecues and potlucks. The slaw as it’s sometimes referred to, is a cold salad traditionally made of shredded cabbage, carrots, apples and a creamy dressing made of mayonnaise and vinegar. While in reality, it’s got a tangy and sweet taste, it drips of aspiration to me. Growing up in a traditional household, while we had easy access to the vegetables, mayonnaise was very foreign, both in taste and geography. The few times that I got to taste it only fueled my desire for more. It was the Mayonnaise effect and certainly had nothing to do with the vegetables. I longed to belong to the world where coleslaw was commonplace.

Today, I’ve got access to all kinds of global ingredients and I can make as many coleslaws or variations of it as I please, but what do I favor? And indianized version of the “foreign” dish. The minute I conquer something, I long to go back to familiar territory, it seems!

This dish really needs no recipe. You throw in a little bit of cabbage, this and that, add more of what you prefer and bring it all together with some as much mayonnaise as you like. Balance the flavors with some salt and vinegar. Here’re the recipe with the addition of paneer which lends a certain softness of texture to the otherwise crispy-crunch salad.

I love using this as a stuffing for pita pockets. The freshness of the salad lends so much flavor and personality to an otherwise boring and plain Pita bread. Coleslaw and pits bread in my house are inseparable.

Wheat Flour Pita Bread


  1. Red Cabbage finely chopped or shredded – 2 cups
  2. Shredded Carrots – 1/2 cup
  3. Chopped Apples – 1/2 cup or 1 small
  4. Paneer – 1/2 cup chopped into bits
  5. Olive oil – 1 tbsp
  6. Coriander leaves -1 tbsp finely chopped
  7. Garlic – 1 tsp or 2 pods finely chopped
  8. Salt -1 tsp
  9. Mayonnaise – 1/4 cup
  10. Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 tsp
  11. Honey (Optional) – 1 tsp
  12. Mustard Powder – 1/2 tsp


  1. Mix the Paneer, Olive oil, Coriander and Garlic in a bowl. Let marinate for 15 – 30 mins
  2. Prepare the dressing. Whisk together Mayonnaise, Cider Vinegar, Honey, Mustard Powder and salt.
  3. Place the cabbage, apples and carrots in a large bowl. Add the dressing and mix well. Gently fold in the Paneer. Chill for atleast 2 hours before serving. The longer it sits the more flavors it develops.
  4. Serve as is, or as a filling for a sandwich or pita bread.


  1. You could also use white cabbage in place of the purple cabbage or a combination of both
  2. You could add nuts or green onions
  3. I’ve used mustard powder here but you could use Dijon mustard instead
  4. If you don’t have access to cider vinegar, replace it with the same quantity of lemon juice. taste and adjust
  5. I personally like the natural flavors of the veggies to be the hero and so I tend to skimp on the Mayonnaise. If you find that the salad is not creamy, pungent or tangy enough, please adjust mayonnaise, mustard or vinegar according to your preference


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