Khar | Assamese Garlicky Flavoured Mung Beans with Greens

Khar is a unique Assamese dish, traditionally served as a starter. Traditionally, pure khar uses kola khar as its main ingredient. Kola Khar is prepared by sun-drying the peels of the bheem khol banana tree trunk, burning them to ashes, and then filtering water through them. It is an alkaline preparation that is believed to have medicinal properties. The dish is served before the main meal to help prepare the digestion for the flavours to come in the main meal.

These days kola khar is often substituted with other items, usually baking soda. Khar can be made with a variety of ingredients – pulpy vegetables such as gourds, papaya, pumpkin, zucchini, eggplant and cucumber, as well as lentils and a variety of greens. Today we are using Mung Beans although toor dal and urad dal are also common. We have seen it made with rice flour and no lentils.

Mustard greens and some chilli leaves are used in our dish today, although Spinach would be equally as fine. I have added a couple of betel leaves, because they are in the fridge and they give a lovely flavour. However, there is no need to be so exotic. Use spinach and/or mustard greens, or whatever greens you have. The recipe has a lot of garlic in it which softens its raw bite due to the cooking and adds a lovely umami flavour. Don’t confuse this dish with Lebon Khar, which is a Middle Eastern dish of cucumber and sour cream or yoghurt with a vinegar and mustard dressing.

Similar dishes include Mung Dal with Green Mango, Bengali Mung Dal, and Mung Dal with Ghee.

Browse more of our Assamese recipes, all of our Mung Bean dishes, and our Dals. Browse our Indian recipes here and our Indian Essentials are here. Or take some time to explore our Late Spring dishes.

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Sarson ka Saag | Puree of Greens

When there is an abundance of greens available, what is better to make than Sarson ka Saag. Our green grocer stocks mustard greens now, so for the first time they are easy to obtain. We don’t get bathua greens though. It is traditional to use these but we have to substitute with other greens.

The dish is easy to make – the greens are cooked with spices until tender, then coarsely pureed. Some people prefer to be pureed to a smooth paste, but traditionally the greens would be hand-ground with a wooden mixer called a mathani to get a puree. However, you can make this to whatever is your preference.

Similar dishes include Khar, Sri Lankan Mustard Greens, Mustard Greens with Daikon, and Turnips with Mustard Leaves.

Browse all of our Mustard Greens recipes, our Chilli Greens recipes and all of our Spinach dishes.  All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Sri Lankan Mustard Greens with Coconut (Suitable for Any Greens)

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 Sarson ka Saag, Chilli Leaves with Peas, Mustard Greens with Mooli (Daikon), and Turnips with Mustard Greens in a Creamy Sauce.

Browse all of our Mustard Greens dishes, and all of our Sri Lankan recipes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

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Steamed Mustard Greens and Shiitake Mushrooms with Sambal Matah

Today we have a lovely dish of mustard greens with a taste of Bali. A quick sambal is made with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf, which is then mixed with steamed mustard greens. The dish is topped with something crispy – I often use garlic chips or crispy fried tofu, but fried shallots or even potato chips or sweet potato chips can be used.

Note that Kai Choy or Gai Choy is the Cantonese name for Mustard Greens. It is also known as Indian Mustard, Leaf Mustard and Mustard Leaves.

Similar dishes include Sarson ka Saag, Sri Lankan Mustard Greens with Coconut, Mustard Greens with Mooli (Daikon), and Turnips with Mustard Greens.

Browse all of our Mustard Greens recipes, and all of our Balinese dishes. Or explore our Mid Winter dishes.

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Mustard Greens with Mooli | Daikon Radish with Mustard Greens

Our local green groceries, run by a cohort of Vietnamese and Middle Eastern families, has recently begun stocking Mustard Greens. So we are making the most of them. Today’s recipe pairs them with daikon, the Japanese white radish that is also used extensively in India. When it is cooked, it loses the intensity of its bite and becomes soft and textural with a slight bitterness that is delightful. Matched with some chilli and the mustardy overtones of these greens, the result is a very morish side dish from India.

Similar recipes include Sarson ka Saag, Sri Lankan Mustard Greens with Coconut, Steamed Mustard Greens with Shiitake and Sambal, South Indian Daikon DalMooli and Pumkin Curry, and Daikon Salad.

Browse our Mustard Greens recipes and our Radish dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Turnips with Mustard Greens in a Creamy Sauce

I need to share a secret. In this household, our focus on Winter veggies has been low. Turnips and Swedes (Rutabaga) have been relegated to vegetable soups, Parsnips have been a little more loved, beautiful winter greens are pretty much only simply quickly steamed or sauteed.

But our Winter Kitchen is changing. Horseradish returns. We found some Mustard greens. Beets, home grown, are prized for their earthy flavours. Celeriac is never left, ignored, in the bottom of the fridge. Jerusalem Artichokes are loved. Lotus root tentatively played with. Jicama (Yam Bean) has always been loved. Potatoes and Daikon make more regular appearance. Swede and Turnips are loved for their own flavours. Sweet Potato and Yam – beautiful textures and flavours.

Today we cook some wonderful baby turnips with spices, mustard greens and a little creamy yoghurt sauce. Such an extraordinary dish. But use any other green if you can’t source Mustard Greens.

Similar dishes include Turnip Salad with Capers, Spicy Turnips in Yoghurt, Sri Lankan Mustard Greens with Coconut, Steamed Mustard Greens with Shiitake and Sambal, Turnips with Quince Molasses, Mustard Greens with Mooli, and Turnip Soup with Yoghurt and Coriander-Walnut Paste.

Browse all of our Turnip recipes and all of our Mustard Greens dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.

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