Soak chana dal lentils in warm water for an hour. Drain it and set it aside for now.
Heat oil in a pan and temper mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Also add curry leaves.
Once they begin to crackle, add minced garlic, asafoetida, and onions. Saute till the onions turn translucent.
Then add the soaked chana dal and mix it in the masala well and cook for a minute.
Then add the shredded cabbage and spice powders like turmeric, cumin and paprika along with salt. Mix everything well together and cook covered for 10-12 minutes on medium flame. Stir midway to prevent anything from sticking at the bottom. Sprinkle little water if you need.
Then add shredded coconut and chopped cilantro. Mix and continue to cook for another minute or until the chana dal is cooked.
Cabbage & Lentil Stir-Fry or Cabbage Upkari is done! Serve this as a side to any Indian bread like roti/naan/chapati or along with Dal and Rice.
You can use fresh or desiccated coconut for the recipe. To check if chana dal is cooked, press some with the back of the ladle. Soaking the dal is important. It helps it cook faster. Using store-bought coleslaw reduces the chopping time significantly.