Winter is the time for Mustard Greens, and we love them. This recipe, with its origins in Sri Lanka and the South of India, treats them very simply without a lot of spice, and ensures that the flavours of the Mustard Leaves shine through. In fact, any greens can be used in this recipe – spinach, kale, chards and any local greens that might be in your area. Try it with cabbage too, its delicious.
Similar recipes include Whole Mung Dal with Greens, Sri Lankan Pumpkin and Coconut Curry, Sarson ka Saag, Chilli Leaves with Peas, Mustard Greens with Mooli (Daikon), and Turnips with Mustard Greens in a Creamy Sauce.
Sri Lankan Mustard Greens with Coconut
1 bunch of fresh mustard greens
1 medium onion, cut in half then into long strips
1 Tblspn ghee
8-10 curry leaves
2-3 green chillies (or to taste), slit into 2 or 3 pieces
0.5 tspn turmeric powder
2 Tblspn fresh grated coconut (use frozen if fresh is not available)
sea salt to taste
Wash the greens and then shed them into thin, long strands (remove any tough stems). If stems are crisp and green but not tough, slice them lengthwise too, and add to the pan a minute or so before the leaves.
Heat the ghee in a kadhai or medium sized pan. Saute the onions, chillies and the curry leaves for 4 – 5 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent.
Add the shredded greens, turmeric and salt to taste, and mix until the greens start to wilt. Lower the heat and cook for 10 – 15 mins until the greens are cooked and tender. Add a Tblspn or two of water if the greens seem to be too dry.
When the greens are cooked, stir through the coconut, reheat gently and serve.
recipe notes and alternatives
Any kind of greens can be made in the above way.