Winter Greens Curry

by Jan 13, 2016


What a way to perk up a dinner of roast chicken and a baguette!  My pot of mustard greens and kale (thank you, Santa!  …the pot, not the kale…) got a dose of cumin seeds, ground turmeric, and fresh ginger, jalapeño and garlic.  And some brown sugar, which I have never added to veggies but will do again.


I adapted this recipe from the Winter Greens Curry in “Spice It Up”, an article featuring the creative Indian food of chef and restaurateur Meeru DhalwalaSunset magazine, March 2014.


Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tips:

  • Ghee is clarified butter. At the grocery, look for 8oz. glass jars in the refrigerated section near regular butter. (You can also make your own, lookie! David Lebovitz shows you how.) The benefit over regular butter is you can cook at a higher temperature without the milk solids burning (because they are removed when you clarify the butter).
  • Meeru’s original proportions were 3 pounds of greens to 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar. 3 pounds is a lot of greens! The Co-Op had mountains of winter greens on sale last week, and when I weighed three big bunches the scale showed about 1.5 pounds. I went with that, since we are only a family of four, and adjusted the recipe accordingly. I liked the sugar addition, but found it too sweet, perhaps because my ratio was a bit off after trimming the stems from the greens. Perhaps good advice is to add the sugar a tablespoon at a time and taste.
  • These greens are so flavorful and delicious, they could easily go solo with some nice rice or even polenta.  Or with another curry dish, like Crimson Lentil & Squash Curry or Meeru’s Tamarind Chickpea Curry (which I want to try but haven’t got to yet), the dish for which she developed this Winter Greens Curry. As Meeru says, “I believe in the ultimate pleasure of a dish that is sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.”


Winter Greens Curry

Yield: Serves 2 - 4


  • 3 bunches winter greens, about 1.5 pounds (kale of any kind and mustard greens make great partners)
  • 2 Tablespoons ghee
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced and mashed
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, flesh removed from seed core then minced
  • 1 - 2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar


  1. Rinse greens, remove stems, and roughly chop. (It's ok if there's a little water clinging to them.)
  2. In large heavy pot with a lid, melt ghee over medium heat. Sprinkle in the cumin seeds and let sizzle 30 seconds. Stir in the garlic and sizzle 30 seconds. Stir in the jalapeño and ginger, cook 30 seconds.
  3. Add the turmeric and salt and cook for a minute. Stir in the brown sugar and cook until it dissolves, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the greens and increase heat to medium-high. Using tongs, stir and toss the greens well to coat with the spices.
  5. Cook, uncovered, until greens are almost tender, about 6 minutes. Cover and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 15 minutes.

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