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Winter Greens Curry

Total Time
1 hr

Indian dishes are often created in counterpoint to one another. Meeru Dhalwala, co-owner of Shanik restaurant in Seattle as well as Vij’s and Rangoli in Vancouver, adds a bit of brown sugar to this curry since she developed it to accompany a tart tamarind chickpea curry. “I believe in the ultimate pleasure of a dish that is sweet, sour, salty, and bitter,” she says.


Turmeric: Winter Greens Curry (0117)

Thomas J. Story
 1/4 cup ghee* or butter
 1 pound stemmed mustard greens (from about 3 lbs. whole bunches)
 1 pound stemmed kale (from about 3 lbs. whole bunch)
 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds
 2 tablespoons minced garlic
 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp. minced jalapeƱo chile
 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
 1 tablespoon turmeric
 1 to 1 1/2 tsp. salt
 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
Step 1

In a large, heavy pot or wok with a lid, melt ghee over medium heat. Meanwhile, chop greens roughly and rinse. "You can use just one or a combination of greens. And ghee gives the greens richness, but you can use any cooking oil instead."

Step 2

Sprinkle in cumin seeds, swirl pot to spread, and let sizzle 30 seconds.

Step 3

Stir in garlic and sizzle until pale golden, 10 to 20 seconds. Stir in chile and ginger; cook 30 seconds. "I brown the garlic for a toasty flavor, then add the moist ginger and chile to stop the toasting before it gets too dark." Add turmeric and salt and cook 1 minute. Stir in brown sugar.

Step 4

Cook until sugar dissolves, about 30 seconds. Add half of greens, increase heat to medium-high, and let wilt until reduced enough to add other half. Using tongs, stir greens well to coat with spice mixture.

Step 5

Cook, uncovered, stirring until greens are almost tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Cover and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 15 minutes. Serve with Tamarind Chickpea Curry and steamed basmati rice if you like.

Step 6

*Find ghee (clarified butter) at Indian markets. Or, for Dhalwala's recipe, see

Step 7

Variations: Instead of greens, try an equal amount of sliced brussels sprouts, thinly sliced broccoli stems, or cooked potatoes.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
Calories 274Calories from Fat 39
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g19%

Saturated Fat 6.4g32%
Cholesterol 28mg10%
Sodium 543mg23%
Total Carbohydrate 30g10%

Dietary Fiber 1.9g8%
Protein 6g12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.