Photo: Thomas J. Story
Total Time
1 Hour
Serves 4 to 6

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.


How to Make It

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.

Shanik, Seattle

Ratings & Reviews


January 10, 2016
I substituted maple syrup for the sugar ...  and the following instead of recipe: 1/2 large Jalepeno, about 6 T fresh ginger, 2 T fresh tumeric ... paired it with the tamarind chickpea curry and also made a curried soup with coconut milk ... excellent !

pukadog's Review

April 06, 2014
loved it

seattleads's Review

March 30, 2014
Way too much sugar - try a tablespoon. I used half the amount of sugar and it was still too sweet.