1 tablespoon garam masala
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
5 cloves garlic
1 (2-inch) piece peeled ginger, cut into coins
1 jalapeno, stemmed and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 chile de arbol
1 cinnamon stick
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
12 cups shredded cabbage (about 1½ pounds)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar (optional)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Combine 2 teaspoons of the garam masala, turmeric, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno in a blender with 4 tablespoons of water; puree in to a paste. Set aside.
In a large skillet, combine the oil, mustard seeds, coriander, cumin, chile and cinnamon stick. Place over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until fragrant and the cinnamon stick unfurls, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the reserved ginger paste and cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 5 minutes more.
Add the cabbage, the sugar (if using) and 2 tablespoons of water and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until tender, 13 to 15 minutes. Uncover, season with salt, and cook, uncovered, until lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes more. To serve, remove the chile and cinnamon stick, sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon garam masala and garnish with the cilantro.