Purple Cabbage Wraps (Cabbage Cheela)

March 03, 2013

Purple Cabbage Wraps

It's been a lot of fun experimenting with new colours for these gluten-free wraps lately. I wasn't sure whether using purple cabbage would turn them purple or blue. My aim was for blue, so I went ahead and tried.

Purple (or better known red) cabbage can turn blue when cooked, but there is also a way to preserve its beautiful purple colour. Funny enough, I learnt that after making the wraps, via Wikipedia and a post revealing the science behind making an all natural red velvet cake using beets. The secret is the acidity. When the pH of the batter is more acidic, the colour doesn't change.

Well, these wraps were like chameleons:) Before cooking, the batter was a gorgeous light purple which turned a bit dark during cooking. Soon after the wraps became dark blue (bingo!, I thought). Alas, that didn't last and after cooling the final colour was a very dark purple. I'm guessing the bits of cabbage in the wraps further released their juices. I wonder how they would have looked if I had used lemon juice instead of water, maybe the colour would have been lighter? That's definitely worth a try sometime.

I used both cabbage and cabbage juice here, to be sure I get the colour. If you'd like the wraps to be lighter, use one and leave the other.

As for the taste, it was the best as soon as they were cool enough to eat and it wasn't strong at all. Since they are made with juice they don't have enough moisture to remain soft for long, that's why they're best eaten soon after cooking.

Unlike the beet wraps and the Carrot Wraps, these ones were a bit of work, involving juicing and blending, but it was all worth it. The trade-off was a bright colour to add to my rainbow wraps and the health benefits. Purple cabbage is a very low calorie food (1 cup chopped provides about 28 calories) and is also a great source of vitamin C, K, beta-carotene, fiber, folate, manganese and calcium.

I will share below how to prepare the batter and for the cooking method I invite you to follow the instructions for the Beet Wraps, they are the same, with the only difference being that I used a full 1/4 cup batter for each wrap.

Purple Cabbage Wraps

Purple Cabbage Wraps (Cabbage Cheela, Instant Cabbage Dosa)
Makes 8

  • 1 cup chickpea flour (besan, gram flour)
  • 1/4 cup rice flour (the powder type)
  • 1 tsp salt (I use Himalayan)
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika (optional, but I like the added flavour)

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 1 Tb finely grated ginger

  • 1 medium purple cabbage, divided: 1/4 cabbage for blending (makes 1 cup) and 3/4 cabbage for juicing (makes 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/4 cup oil for cooking the wraps (I use sunflower)

Note: 1 cup = 250 ml, 1/4 cup = 60 ml. I use a 16.5 cm/6.5'' pan. I wouldn't advise making larger wraps as they would be hard to flip.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Cut the cabbage in half, then in quarters. Remove the core and the very thick parts of the leaves around it.

Cut 3 quarters into smaller pieces and push them through a juicer. That should make 1 cup of juice.

Cut the other quarter into smaller pieces and put them in a blender together with 1/2 cup juice. Process until the cabbage is blended very finely.

Add the blended cabbage, the remaining 1/2 cup juice and the water to the dry ingredients and mix well.

Make the wraps straight away, following the instructions for the beet wraps.

Purple Cabbage Wraps

As soon as they are cool enough to handle, make rolls using your favourite spread, vegan cream cheese or vegetables, or simply use them in place of bread with curries.

Purple Cabbage Wraps

See the lemon wedge I used to add some colour contrast in the pictures above? Well, it did more than that, it also added some colour to the wraps:) This would be a fun game for kids, just give them a lemon wedge and let them brush the whole surface of a roll to turn it pink, or make rings.

Purple Cabbage Wraps

Enjoy and spread the magic!:)

If you've tried these wraps I would greatly appreciate your feedback. Thank you!



My favourite colour is purple so obviously this flavour appeals to me enormously!!!!

Ally @ Om Nom Ally

I'm really loving your series of gluten-free wraps and am loving each new recipe even more than the last :D

Andrea - Chocolate and Beyond

These look absolutely amazing! You are so creative and inventive. I have to make these very soon. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful recipe Adriana! And as always, I LOVE your photos :)

Vegan Magic

Thank you so much, ladies:)

Sandy: I hesitated whether to share these or not, because I don't know many people who like purple, but then my "rainbow" would have been incomplete. Besides, the "painting" part is so much fun. I'm so glad you like them!

Ally: I'm really enjoying these little experiments:) The best is yet to come - and it's not a fancy colour;)

Andrea: I am running out of inspiration, not many root vegetables left to experiment with:) I hope you enjoy the wraps when you try them:)


Love, love, love these multicolored chillas you've been posting. And they're so incredibly delicious. We Indian cooks might learn a thing or two from you! :)

Vegan Magic

Vaishali, I am delighted that you like the wraps, thank you so much for your lovely words:) I've been cooking Indian food for 14 years and during this time I was greatly inspired by many Indian chefs and bloggers. It feels amazing to know that my own experiments inspire others:) The Indian cuisine is so diverse and flavourful, there's always something new to try:) It's wonderful connecting with you again, thank you so much for visiting:)


I think you've just about covered every color of the rainbow! ;)

Vegan Magic

Hahaha I'm not quite there yet, still can't figure out how to get a bright orange, every orange vegetable I've tried turned yellow:) I guess this is where cooking and chemistry cross paths;) Thank you for visiting, Karielyn:)


These are seriously so cool and unique! How do you come up with such great ideas?

Vegan Magic

Sarah, the pink/red and the purple wraps were inspired by some amazing fresh juices I've been making lately (beet and cabbage). I'm hoping to successfully make orange and brown ones soon...fingers crossed;) I'm really glad you like these ones, thank you so much for stopping by:)

janet @ the taste space

Wow - this is beautiful! We make cheela all the time, but keep it the standard yellow. I can't wait to try your variations. :)

Vegan Magic

Thank you, Janet:) I hope you have fun making them and enjoy the different tastes:)


Wow, what fun!!! Have you tried purple onion yet? I haven't found the rest of the rainbow, but if you have managed red and yellow, combining those two should make orange... As for brown, a good rule of thumb is to remember that if the colors are on the opposite sides of a color wheel, they'll mix together to make some sort of brown. So you'd use red + green or yellow + violet...or google color wheel chart... I'll be curious to hear if paint mixing equals food mixing!!

Vegan Magic

Roxanne, thank you for checking our the recipe and for the suggestions. I know about the colour wheel and the combinations can be applied with food too, but sometimes a little experimenting is required in order to get the right amounts. With paint it's easy to adjust the intensity of the colour, but with food if you make a mistake you end up throwing everything away. And the colour that you get by mixing the ingredients is not the same as the colour of the cooked wraps, that's another thing to consider. At some point I will try the missing colours and see how lucky I am:)


Could you use coconut flour in place of the chick pea and rice flour?

Vegan Magic

Minnie, thank you for asking. I haven't used coconut flour so I can't really say whether it would work. If you do try please let me know how it goes.


So happy i found you on Pinterest..........
You'r a cook after my heart!

Vegan Magic

Thank you, Martine! So glad you like the recipes:)

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