Heat the oil in a large nonreactive skillet over high heat. When the oil is not, add the onions, cabbage, salt, and pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the vinegar, bay leaves, cinnamon, allspice, and water, and stir and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the sugar and cook, stirring and folding the ingredients through the cabbage, for 2 minutes.
Cover the pot and cook over high heat 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Uncover, turn the heat up to high and cook, stirring from time to time, until the cabbage is tender, for about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
Yield: about 2 cups