Jewelled Coleslaw (no mayo)

Jewelled Coleslaw

Little pops of pink pomegranate gives this jewelled coleslaw a whole new taste experience!

Here in England ‘coleslaw’ took on a whole new meaning! Back in South Africa coleslaw (or ‘koolslaai’ as I know it in Afrikaans) is literally just shredded cabbage with a dollop of mayonnaise. That’s it.

It is here in the UK that I’ve learnt that there are so many varieties of coleslaw that it would be a bit of a challenge to list them all! So I’ve decided to stick to a few favourites followed by my ultimate coleslaw recipe – the one I would make when we have very special guests!

Why do you call it coleslaw?

Well, as I have mentioned above in Afrikaans we say koolslaai (pronounced ko-wul-sl-aye). I was fascinated to learn that it is called coleslaw in the English language as I thought it is just a slang word amongst the English-speaking South Africans… Koolslaai is what it says on the tin: cabbage salad. It makes sense doesn’t it! In Dutch it is called koolsla and it is from this concept that coleslaw has been anglicised.

How do you make coleslaw from scratch?

The concept of coleslaw is a fairly simple one: shredded cabbage, mayonnaise, seasoning, eat. However, different countries have adapted this basic concept to create some truly special salads!

Different coleslaw recipes

With the exception of my jewelled coleslaw recipe (see recipe card below) I’ve picked a few favourite combinations that I’ve had over the years:

  • Grandma’s Coleslaw: shredded cabbage with chopped celery, celery seeds and drizzled with Greek salad dressing. This was my favourite when I grew up!
  • Cheesy coleslaw: the supermarket near us has the best recipe for this! Although there is no way that I will be able to recreate this, the main just of it is as follow: shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, shredded cheddar or red Leicester cheese, mayonnaise.
  • Fruity coleslaw: this one is quite delicious! It has the basic grated cabbage and carrots along with the mayo, but then you add sultanas and chopped green apple. If you feel really adventurous you can even add in some walnuts.
  • Colourful coleslaw: this beautiful coleslaw is perfect for Christmas where you would like everything to be festive. Use red cabbage instead of the normal white one along with carrot and mayonnaise. You can add in some fennel seeds for extra flavour!
  • Another colourful coleslaw: why not change up the carrots? Use the white cabbage as described, but substitute the orange carrots for purple carrot (spooky halloween ‘ghost slaw’) or a golden carrot or a combination of the lot.

How long does coleslaw last?

Cabbage itself lasts quite a long time, however, I will not recommend you keep coleslaw for more than three days in the fridge as other ingredients can spoil quite quickly. I do make coleslaw a day or so in advance, but I only dress it just before serving. This ensures that it stays a bit fresher and crunchier for longer.

Jewelled Coleslaw

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 300 grams shredded cabbage
  • 1 large shredded carrot
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 100g pomegranate pips, (or approximately ½ a fruit)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Dressing

  • 170g Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder


  1. Combine all the salad ingredients, (only half the pomegranate pips) in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Combine the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Give it a good stir and season to taste.
  3. Spoon into a serving dish and scatter over the remaining pomegranate seeds just before serving.

This creamy no-mayo coleslaw with pomegranate goes really well with the following dishes:

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I would love to hear what’s your favourite way of eating coleslaw? Please let me know in the comments 🙂

4 Comments on “Jewelled Coleslaw (no mayo)

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