Heat the oil in a large nonstick wok or frying pan over a low heat. Add the shallots, ginger, garlic and chillies, and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes until the shallots have softened. Add the cumin seeds, turmeric and crushed coriander seeds, and stir-fry for 1 minute.
Increase the heat to high and add the carrot and cabbage, tossing well to coat in the spice mixture. Add the curry powder and season to taste. Cover the pan and cook over a medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and serve immediately with steamed rice.